Insurance & Risk Management
Specialized Insurance for Design Professionals
Insurance and Risk Management Specialized Insurance for Design Professionals
Risk Management – Operations
There are many organizational risks associated with operating any type of business. Many of these operational risks can be mitigated using insurance policies. Others require the firm to create policies, processes and procedures around the various practice areas to increase the odds of favorable results. And the use of both insurance and risk control in tandem is the best way to safeguard your firm from potential loss.
Projects are usually one-time efforts to produce a specific result. Managing a project means creating the scope, delivery method, budgets, schedule, personnel assignments and implementation of the plan. All these links in the chain generate many opportunities for oversight.
Running a business, in general, has many pitfalls. The way it is organized and managed, including expectations of employees and office politics. It is important to have clearly defined standardized policies and procedures. This applies internally on expected behavior and conduct, use of firm equipment, sexual harassment policy, use of company vehicles and email to name a few examples. This also applies to outside of the office in case of emergency, renting vehicles and visiting client sites.
BUSINESS INTERRUPTION &
A sudden event, such as hardware failure, a blackout, natural disaster, fire or an act of terrorism can occur anytime to seriously affect the continuity of your business. It is important to ask yourself: What are your firm’s external demands on a day-to-day basis? How long can your essential business functions be inoperative? What are the costs to respond and the interim loss of revenue?
This area within operations deals with hardware, software, and privacy concerns within the process of delivering professional services. Changes in project delivery methods and our growing dependence on the internet and networks expose costly cyber liability risks. Privacy liability includes the failure to properly secure computers, the loss of laptops or backup media, and administrative errors. Electronic media liability includes protection against allegations of libel, slander, copyright and trademark infringement. Network operations liability includes coverage for viruses, hacker attacks, and denial of service attacks against third parties.
Employees are a design firm’s primary asset. When key employees leave, they leave holes in the organization that must be filled. Even within a three-person firm, you have hiring, training, retaining, promoting and professional development of staff. Firms with employees must also comply with local, state and national labor laws.
One of the best ways for firms to remain flexible is through the use of sub-consultants. Sub- consultants also allow firms to “round out” their service offerings. Needless to say, picking the right consultant is critical. Whether they carry their own insurance or take the same care in delivering their service will reflect on your firm and could potentially make you liable for their actions.
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