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Examples of Secondary Professional Liability Insurance Claims

As a professional engineer, your world is all about high standards, exacting tolerances, knowledge and professionalism. In cases where you face legal action for engineering-related actions beyond the scope of your regular professional work, you may qualify for secondary protection:

Working as a project manager…

You’re a licensed engineer who currently works for a general contractor holding the title of project manager. A client you’ve been working with has been under the impression that you hold additional responsibilities related to engineering, even though these are outside the scope of your role.

As the building nears completion, it becomes clear that it has not been erected at the proper location and there are structural engineering problems. While you are not the engineer responsible for the design, the client brings you to court claiming negligence.

XL Catlin covers your legal expenses and damages under incidental employment coverage. This type of coverage kicks in when you are a professional engineer working in a different professional capacity.  

An error in design…

You’re hired to design the foundation of a residential home and to perform construction observation. The project seems to have gone well, but six years later, the residence suffers slope settlement failure. You’ve since changed firms, and your current employer’s insurance does not cover the claim.

The homeowner claims that your design of the foundation was deficient because you used the wrong unit of measurement for loading calculations, which resulted in sloping. You are found to be at fault because you did not procure or use a geotechnical analysis of the soil.

In this case, XL Catlin covers both legal costs and damages under prior acts coverage. When you are no longer covered by a firm because it has gone out of business, you still have secondary liability coverage.

Before you retired…

You designed a retaining wall to provide a home that was built next to a river with flood protection. Unfortunately, ten years after the wall was built, the home was damaged by a flood.

The homeowner claims that the engineering design was deficient and the wall was built in the wrong place, compromising the home’s flood protection. The firm you designed the wall for in 2007 no longer covers you because you have retired.

You are still covered for the design work under secondary professional liability insurance, and XL Catlin pays both damages and legal costs under its retirement coverage. This coverage protects you after retirement, providing peace of mind while you enjoy your life post-career.

Note:  The coverage afforded in each scenario is subject to the specific policy terms and conditions and should be reviewed to ensure it applies to your specific situation.

For more information contact the program hotline at 800-361-9080.