Q&A with Webber Insurance
27th September 2019
We're excited to present our members with some information regarding changes to PI Insurance provided by our State Partners, Webber Insurance.
Who is affected by changes in PI Insurance and why?
We’ve found that the hardest-hit occupations in the recent ‘cladding crackdown’ have been surveyors, fire engineers and professionals working with cladding products on medium/high rise buildings. The insurers are taking a varied approach in their underwriting mentality, however, they’re all taking a very conservative approach.
Will it affect Building Designers? If so in what capacity and why?
It is already having an impact on designers working on multi-residential over 3 storeys, particularly if they’ve worked on projects that are being targeting in the building audits. For residential designers working primarily on class 1, 2 and 10 buildings, we haven’t experienced any adverse conditions with our member insurance scheme. This landscape is constantly changing so it’s likely cases going through the legal system will set a precedent for years to come. Our advice is to exercise extreme caution with products that are currently being targeted (EPS, PE etc.) and consider if there’s a suitable alternative.
What can I do as a Building Designer to prevent any risk?
Some suggestions as follows;
- Do not specify products unless you are absolutely sure they meet the relevant standards
- Ensure all advice is specific, avoid using terms such as ‘light weight cladding’ and specify a material that you know is compliant
- Utilise an engagement agreement with all clients that clearly makes them responsible if they or the builder make any changes to your specified materials
- Stay up to date with news releases from BDAQ, QBCC and other governing bodies
- Partner with reputable product suppliers