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I was curious about the views of some other small engineering offices on
insurance, specifically professional liability insurance and general
liability insurance.

My first question is do you have professional liability insurance (errors
and omissions) and why or why not.

My second question is for those who do not have professional liability
insurance.  Do you have a general liability policy (a policy that covers
accidents, etc. for non-employees at your office).  Usually this type of
policy is lumped with some sort of contents insurance.  Have you had any
trouble in keeping this type of policy.

To be fair I should let you know where our office is coming from.  We do
not at this time have professional liability insurance.  We are a very
small office in a small town.  We did have professional liability insurance
years ago.  But the rates became astronomical, as well as we seemed to be
named in lawsuits more often (not because of any wrong doing it seemed, but
because we were involved in a project and had good insurance).  In the last
couple years some insurance companies have been offering more reasonable
rates for small firms, and we have been contemplating trying to get one of
these policies.

In the meantime we have had an office policy that covers general liability,
non-owned automobiles and the contents of our office.  Unfortunately it
seems that we can never keep these policies for more than a year.  The
insurance companies decide not to renew this type of policy to certain
professionals, which include engineers and architects.  The reason we are
given by our insurance brokers is that engineers and architects submit
professional liability claims to these general policies and at some point
the insurance companies stop insuring these types of professionals. 
Unfortunately this means that every year we have to research new insurance
and even sometimes switch brokers (as one brokers sources dry up).  But we
need to maintain this insurance not only for the good reasons of having
this sort of insurance, but because it is required to rent office space.

So any thoughts you all might have on this subject would be very

Tom Schaniel
Mammmoth Lakes, California

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Subject: Insurance
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 1997 11:09:29 -0600
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Richard Lewis, P.E.
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