Whether you’ve got a keen eye for building design and are researching how to become a draftsman, or have decades of experience making plans for buildings, transport devices or machinery, you need to remember the importance of always being fully insured – this is why you may require draftsman insurance.
By purchasing and regularly renewing your draftsman insurance, you could save yourself vast amounts of time, money and stress further down the line.
How Might a Draftsman Ensure That They Have Adequate Cover?
Any job will usually come with a certain level of risk.
However as a draftsman you will be spoken to and sought out as a professional, assumed to hold a higher degree of skill and experience than your client.
If, during a project, a client feels that a material, financial or physical loss can be attributed to your failure to uphold the professional standard for which they hired you, you could risk being sued.
Draftsman: The Job
Have a think about what your job entails on a day to day basis; from creating sketches, to speaking with clients, to advising how best to approach the design of a building, transport device or piece of machinery.
Australia is relatively unique in having both draftsmen and architects.
Many draftsmen now refer to themselves as “building designers” however this hasn’t always been the case.
In years gone by, architects would primarily figure out how the design would be built, then the draftsman would be responsible for redrawing sketches and distributing to builders.
As draftsmen have taken on increasing amounts of responsibility (often giving advice directly to clients), it may become more essential for a draftsperson to make sure they are fully covered with the correct insurance.
It’s always a good idea to find an insurance company who work specifically with draftsman, building designers, architects or other professions within the same industry – or even have a specific scheme set up within these industries.
By working with industry specific experts, they’ll be able to offer you advice on the types of insurance that a draftsperson would need and may also have an idea of the best providers and packages available for your needs.
Please note that when seeking insurance, to take into consideration the various state and national legal/industry requirements as set out by the relevant government authority.
What Types of Insurance Might a Draftsman Need?
Think about your personal requirements – you may be a very small independent firm of draftsmen, or you may be working within a larger company.
Consider too the type of projects that you work on and any contracts that you currently have – these will usually state the specific type of insurance they require all their workers to have.
According to the Australian Business Licence and Information Service, there are a number of different insurance requirements.
A common insurance type for a draftsman might be Professional Indemnity Insurance. This is a type of insurance that is specifically designed for any professionals who give advice or provide a service to their clients.
Professional Indemnity Insurance can protect a business from legal costs and claims from third parties.
These claims could be for anything from damages that are perceived to have arisen from the professional’s acts or omissions to claims that professional duty has been breached.
An example of when a draftsman may require professional indemnity insurance is if you did , or forgot to do, something that was seen to cause injury or financial loss to your client, they could decide to take legal action against you.
Defending yourself could be financially crippling without the correct insurance and your entire livelihood would be at stake.
Even if your actions are always good willed and well meant, you need to have backup in the case that a client feels you have been negligent or offered incorrect advice.
It is not uncommon for legal fees to run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. With professional indemnity insurance you may have the peace of mind that in the event of a claim, your costs could be covered and legal teams may be able to help maintain your reputation by proving that you are not guilty.
There are several other types of insurance you may want to research or consider purchasing if you are a draftsman or run a business using draftsmen.
Other Types of Insurance Available to Draftsmen:
1. Personal Accident and Illness Cover:
It’s likely that your income as a draftsman will be your main source of income and you may have dependents and family members who rely on this also.
It would make sense for you to be covered in the event of an injury, accident or serious illness requiring you to take time off work.
2. Public Liability Insurance
You may spend the majority of your time visiting sites and meeting with clients in their home or workspace.
However if you have an office or studio where you hold meetings, however infrequent, you may need to hold public liability insurance to cover any damage that occurs to a person or property.
3. Tax Audit Cover
When you’re running your own business, it can be hard to make time for tax auditing and accounting. You may in fact not fully understand the processes involved and may require the help of an expert.
Tax audit cover may allow you to ensure you have the costs of a lawyer or accountant covered so that they can assist you in keeping everything in order.
Why Do Draftsmen Need Insurance?
There are a number of reasons why any draftsman might need to get insurance, however the majority of these relate to the type of work that you are doing, the state you are working in, and any other legal requirements or licencing arrangements you have to adhere to.
Like any business, it makes sense to want to protect yourself and your work against potential claims.
Some of the tasks a draftsman may conduct on a day to day role might include:
- Preparing technical drawings based on rough sketches and drawings given to you by architects, engineers and surveyors.
- Checking drawings for accuracy
- Using judgment and initiative to adjust and change detailed drawings
- Creating drawings using CAD (Computer Aided Design)
- Management of outputs
With the best of intentions, accidents and mistakes can happen.
As a draftsman, you could potentially be held responsible for any kind of error or mistake that results in a loss to the client.
In order to defend yourself against such a claim, you might need insurance to cover legal costs and if awarded, to pay out damages.
Major law firms and insurance companies regularly deal with draftsman who have suffered the crippling effects of a claim against their business.
Some of the instances in which having insurance could save you huge amounts of money, time and stress include:
- Claims made against you for negligence in preparing technical drawings and plans
- Claims that you have failed to make the necessary or required adjustments and changes to drawings
- Claims of negligence in the management of outputs
- Claims that you have failed to maintain a prime working knowledge of the technological changes within programs such as CAD.
How Much Insurance Might a Draftsman Need?
The amount of cover that you need will depend slightly upon your personal circumstances and the type of company that you are working for or own, and the state you live in.
To determine how much insurance a draftsman might need, it would be smart to first check with the relevant state government body to find out these exact details.
It’s also worth checking the insurance cover required of the specific project that you’re working on as well as the overall state laws that you need to adhere to; some states such as Victoria have statutory requirements for the amount of insurance cover needed.
Whilst it may be tempting to opt for cheap alternatives or seemingly attractive ‘deals’, it’s important to realise that you could find yourself worse off in the future if the cover you’ve bought doesn’t cover your full costs.
What Are The Most Important Types of Draftsman Insurance Cover?
There are a number of types of insurance cover for draftsmen that are available.
If you are working for a larger project or company, you will need to find out which ones your contract with them requires you to have.
It also makes sense to you have your own personal cover as well as being covered under the overall project – when you are your business, you cannot protect yourself enough!
Insurance companies may vary with the different insurance covers that are available, so it pays to check with your local authorities and state government to ensure you meet any requirements there may be.
The most important types of cover for any draftsman regardless of the size of firm they are working within include:
1. Professional Indemnity Insurance:
Any professional who gives advice or offers a service to clients has the ability to seek indemnity insurance.
With good professional indemnity insurance, you’ll have the reassurance that you will always be covered for legal fees and any damages requiring payment in the case that a claim is made against you.
2. Professional Liability Insurance:
This will protect you from claims that relate to errors or omissions in your work. Liability insurance can often protect from claims of bodily injury or property damage.
These insurance covers generally offer umbrella coverage which can be purchased in addition and offer higher levels of protection.
Many advisors see taking out professional liability insurance as an important part of risk management within a business.
The processes involved in choosing the correct type require you as a draftsman to identify potential risks and consider strategies, which will help to prevent them from occurring or developing.
All Sorted? Any Questions?
Once you’ve found the right insurance for you as a draftsman, you’ll be able to get back to the important part – doing your job to the best of your ability.
However good a draftsman you are, it’s inevitable that mistakes can be made an accidents can happen.
By knowing that you are fully insured against any claims made against you, you’ll have the peace of mind that you’ll be covered financially – saving you money, time and stress in the long term.
Now, back to the drawing board!