How To Guide | Buy errors and omissions insurance for interior designers In Canada
Measure twice and cut once. While a perfectly appointed room is what you strive for, sometimes fate can intervene. Canadian interior designers are called upon to help their clients achieve a very specific vision, all within a set timeline. That vision may be a trendy new retail outlet that features bespoke fittings and furnishings, or it could be a complete gut renovation of a private home. Whatever the project is, clients expect interior designers to deliver a seamless solution that includes tradespeople, resources, layouts, materials and logistical management.
This article is all about what you need to know about buying errors and omissions insurance for interior designers in Canada.
Risk overhead | A real-world interior design catastrophe
While beautifully lit photos of your interior design project may one day be featured in the pages of Azure, House Beautiful, Canadian Interiors, House & Home or on Houzz.com, there’s a long journey from first consult to reveal day.
Unfortunately, weeks, months and even years after your business wrap up work on an interior design project, an unforeseen error or omission can come back to haunt you. Qpractice.com shares one such example, “A giant mirror approximately 10 ft high and weighing 250 pounds or more fell on diners having breakfast at a Manhattan cafe, Balthazar in 2015. The mirror struck [a diner]…[who] valiantly hoisted the mirror off unsuspecting diners until others rushed to help him.”1
Thankfully, no one was injured. But here’s a situation that could prove to be complex for interior designers because “the specifying designer would be responsible for documenting these conditions. This includes accounting for the size and weight of the mirror, pre-existing wall condition, and any special mounting requirements.”2And if this situation happened in an area susceptible to earthquakes, the interior designer would likely also have to ensure that any quake-related building code requirements were met.
When it comes to liability, “whenever there is harm to people or damage to property, both the interior designer and the owner could be held responsible. The interior designer could be found liable for their actions or inaction. The designer could even be named a responsible third party in any claims. Because of the legal concept of agency, the designer has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the client and use due care to protect the public from harm. An interior designer who failed to use due care to prevent harm could be found negligent and liable.”3
Errors and Omissions – Why this coverage is so important for interior designers
Worst-case scenarios can, do and will happen. This is why having the right protection in place – before a claims situation event occurs – is so very important. As an interior designer, there is a lot you can do to proactively manage the risks you face on the job. However, even the best-managed risk can still trip you up in the long run. With lawsuits more common than ever, professional liability which is also known as errors and omissions or simply E&O insurance can give you an additional layer of comfort as well as security.
From the ground up, errors and omissions liability insurance is designed to enhance your interior design business owner’s policy. Specifically, E&O safeguards against catastrophic loss in the event of a lawsuit due to a negligent act, error or omission in the course of your offering interior design professional services to a third party for compensation. In addition to claims of error, omission, or negligence, E and O can also protect against slander, libel and breach of contract.
Some of the most common interior designers’ errors and omissions situations may include:
- Design projects that are not completed in accordance to contract specifications (i.e. delivered late and/or overbudget)
- Errors in project elements – incorrect materials, improperly scheduled resources, mistakes in measurements, etc.
- Logistical problems – material changes to layouts, plans and scheduling that are not communicated to relevant parties such as clients and/or suppliers
Why interior designers need errors and omissions coverage
Clients rely upon the professional experience interior designers bring to projects. Errors and omissions liability insurance for interior designers is built from the ground up to provide protection for people who give advice, make educated recommendations, design solutions, and/or represents the needs of others.
As an interior designer, your errors and omissions insurance is designed to cover large legal defence costs that are incurred trying to prove liability or innocence as well as the final judgment if your business does not win the lawsuit.
Note: You can also get your commercial general liability insurance for interior designers when you complete the ALIGNED Insurance application form.
We understand the unique risks and exposures that interior designers face on the job. That’s why we’ve made it easier to get errors and omissions for interior designers. All you need to do to get started is download and complete our errors and omissions insurance application.
Once we receive your completed application, one of our experienced commercial insurance brokers will contact you to discuss the specifics of your interior design business. We’ll work with you to get you aligned with the errors and omissions coverage you need to protect your commercial operations.
Risk & ALIGNMENT | Get an errors and omissions for interior designers quote aligned.
If you are ready to work with an insurance broker who is truly dedicated to commercial insurance, now is the time to get aligned. Our team across Canada is exclusively focused on meeting the specific and specialized needs of business and delivering a better insurance experience.
We invite you to work with us to get all of your interior design business insurance needs aligned today.
Source(s): 1,2,3 QPractice.com: “Would You Be At Fault? The Interior Designer’s Guide To Liability”