school building

What are today’s trends in professional liability claims against architects, engineers and other design firms? There are a variety of claims that can occur and design professionals need to watch out for. One of them is school building project claims.

Here’s what you need to watch out for and understand how to protect yourself from these claims:


School Building Project Claims:

Insurers report that claims involving schools are on the increase countrywide, particularly in regard to colleges and universities. Lately, the rise has been most prevalent in Texas, Colorado and Kansas. Insurers report that there is not a particular claim type or event, but rather a wide variety of issues.

One of the drivers of these claims is the targeting of schools by aggressive law firms, a trend that started in Texas and is expanding to other states. These law firms determine which schools have recently had construction done, hunt for possible defects in design or construction and then try to convince the school districts to pursue claims on a wide scale.

Fortunately, Texas recently passed HB 1734 a bill signed into law by the governor and put into effect September 1, 2019. This law requires schools to use any funds received from litigation to actually repair the schools. Hopefully, other states and provinces will follow suit if they haven’t already.



How to Mitigate School Building Project Claims:

The best risk management tactic for school claims is drafting a clear scope of work that shows exactly what the designer was hired to do, and identify services outside of that scope. This clear scope should be part of a well-written contract that affords balanced risk allocation and ensures that any changes in the scope are client- approved and well documented.




Find out more:

Download our free guidebook “Watch for These Seven Claim Trendsto learn more about how you can protect your business from claims and losses: