Firm Coverage

The AIA Trust understands that many AIA Members have small firms or are sole proprietors—yet still need insurance and retirement plans with comprehensive benefits—at reasonable rates. For this reason, the Trustees have worked with independent expert advisors to identify, evaluate, design, and monitor programs with the greatest value for you. The Trust has done the research—so that you don’t have to spend your time to find specialized benefits for your firm.

In addition, the AIA Trust has compiled a host of resources—from the Trust and from the AIA—that may be helpful to small and new firms. This quick-read summary is located here.

While many Trust benefits offer individual coverage, the following benefits are tailored for your firm:

Professional Liability Insurance
The AIA Trust Professional Liability Insurance Program provided by CNA/Schinnerer meets the challenges that architects face today and in the future. The CNA/Schinnerer program, through its strength and dedication to superior service and quality for AIA members for more than a half-century, continues to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to the architectural profession. In fact, the AIA Trust program now offers a 5% premium credit to eligible firms with at least 50% of their architects as AIA members. Additionally, for smaller firms, the CNA/Schinnerer policy provides First Dollar Defense Coverage to defend an insured's firm without additional expense and offers Multi-year Policy Terms for firms under $250,000 annual revenues, with a guaranteed premium program.

Business Owners Coverage
This insurance covers general and property liability as well as business personal property off-premises including property at the residence of the employee, coverage for computers and other equipment on a worldwide basis, valuable documents, business auto, as well as employment practices, workers comp, and umbrella that can be added as needed. Plus the aggregate limit applies on a “per project” basis, so your clients have the full limits of their policy for each project.

Group Employee Insurance for your Firm
Firm Term life insurance is offered to firms for their employees. Coverage for groups of 2 or more employees working 20 or more hours weekly may be offered as an employee benefit. It offers billing and coverage flexibility with excellent rates & benefits. The firm would receive a “group bill.” » Click for details.

Group disability insurance is now available at highly competitive rates and superior benefits for AIA member firms of 2 or more employees—as an excellent employee benefit. » Click for details.

Life insurance, with a 10 or 20-year-level premium at highly competitive rates is offered to AIA members. As this policy can have $1 Million limits, it can also be used as "key person" insurance for the firm.

Health Insurance
The AIA Trust offers AIA members a brokerage service to find suitable individual, family, and small group healthcare programs. This service,, is accessible via the AIA Trust website. All of these programs offer extremely competitive rates and a high level of coverage, service and reliability. In addition, the AIA Trust offers numerous ancillary health-related plans, ranging from Dental Insurance and Medicare Supplement Plans to Cancer Insurance and Hospital Income plans—which may provide you with the financial assistance you need.

Disability insurance from the AIA Trust is designed with architects in mind. Disability insurance is extremely important for small firms which may have to fold if the member partner or owner is injured or otherwise disabled for a lengthy period. Disability insurance, also known as Business Overhead Expense insurance, ensures that the 'doors can stay open' by covering expenses for lease agreements, staff & equipment overhead, etc. Likewise, personal disability insurance coverage would cover personal expenses like mortgage, utilities, & groceries until the member is back at his firm.

The AIA Members Retirement Program offered through the AIA Trust and administered by AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company offers services designed to minimize the amount of time and money spent managing retirement plans – of particular value to small firms without an HR staff to handle administrative filings, plan updates, and participant communications. The Program offers competitive administrative fees as well as a variety of 401(k) plans that are well suited to small firms and sole-proprietors, including an Owners Only 401(k) for self-employed professionals without employees. To learn more, call 800-523-1125 or visit GE-49180 (4/09)

LegaLine, the legal information service by and for architects, is tailored for small firms without in-house counsel or easy access to legal information. For an annual subscription fee, or less than 2–3 hours of billable legal time, an AIA Member has access to an attorney-architect who can offer information ranging from negotiating and interpreting contracts and determining whether a lawyer is needed to ways to structure profitable joint ventures, benefits of incorporating one's practice, and considerations when hiring or firing an employee.

Home Office Insurance While the Liberty Mutual personal lines of insurance for auto and home are not aimed at small firms, they do offer substantial cost-savings to all members on these necessary coverages—and offer home office insurance as well.

Educational benefits
The AIA Trust offers numerous educational programs, especially useful to new firms, presented at AIA conventions and to components. The Trust frequently commissions white papers on cutting edge topics and offers LU's through its web site. In addition, the Voluntary Education Program offered by CNA/Schinnerer can satisfy continuing education requirements at no extra charge for those insured in the program offering up to 2 years of continuing education credit (a commercial value of $1,950 per employee). Other educational tools may be found in the AIA Risk Management Committee Resource Center.