Learn from the experience of others when starting your firm—or when confronting your firm’s day-to-day challenges . . .
Making the Transition to Running Your Own Firm
Insurance Coverage Issues for Professional Practices is a report developed by the Victor O. Schinnerer and the CNA companies in conjunction with AIA Trust to assist licensed design professionals in operating a professional practice offering solutions by transferring risks appropriately.
New Starter Firm Incentives for AIA Members AIA Trust Webinar
New Starter Firm Incentives for AIA Members is an 8 minute webinar—that offers AIA members starting a new firm an array of special benefits along with a detailed instruction page so those with eligible new firms may apply.
When Applying for Professional Liability Insurance
Underwriters and actuaries look at a number of factors to assess your firm’s potential risk, including your firm’s size, billings, location, clients, services provided, and project types. A 2011 study indicates other important factors help underwriters assess a firm’s potential risk. Find out how to present your firm in the best possible light when applying for professional liability insurance. Click here for the report.
Small Firm Programs & Resources
The AIA Trust develops tools and resources that may be helpful to a small firm—and especially to those just starting out.
- Find out What Does AIA Trust Offer Small Firms? in this summary of the AIA Trust programs best suited for the small firm and sole proprietor—which help provide for the negotiating power of a large firm.
- Find out what resources the AIA Trust offers to assist the small and new firm practitioner and includes some valuable AIA resources in this small firm resource summary.
- Find out how a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) may help your firm outsource cost-effectively the management of payroll, workers’ compensation, human resources and employee benefits—to lower expenses and increase profits by focusing on your core business of architecture.
- 2009 Small Firm Claims Study indicates that most claims made against small firms derive either from delays and extras or property damage and offers case study examples—with tips on how you can avoid these claims.
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Tools to Help You Manage Your Risks
Dramatic changes in the economy mean that firms are taking on more risk. Here are some tools to help you & your firm to evaluate and manage potential risk:
- Project Intake Checklist – This form may help you & your firm to evaluate and manage potential risk.
- Client Profile Form & Information Checklist – Since appropriate client selection is one of the most important steps in ensuring payment for services, this form and checklist may help you to evaluate whether to proceed with a client.
- Go-No Go Checklist – The investigation of the client and project, as well as the client education, should lead to a rational and strategic “yes/no” decision whether to proceed with a project – this checklist may help you to make the right decision.
- Post-Project Evaluation Form – The end of a project may be viewed as a critical opportunity for preparation for the next project.
- Sample Document Retention Policy
- Client Waiver and Informed Consent to Use Experimental Green Product
- Condo Project Evaluation Form
- The AIA Trust Professional Liability Database a searchable directory of Professional Liability Insurers with useful tips on how to go about selecting professional liability insurance and selecting a broker.
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Key Contracting Issues in Digital Practice Design and Construction
AIA offers a free guide that explores digital trends in design and construction including BIM and investigates the ramifications digital developments have on project participants, project success and the public in general. Click here for the guide: Guide, Instructions and Commentary to the 2013 AIA Digital Practice Documents.
In addition, AIA offers a one-hour session (1 AIA HSW/LU) with key topics that include the use and exchange of digital data, the impact of digital data and BIM use on project communication and efficiency, and other issues related to the use and transmission of digital data. Register here (note: the member course fee is $45.99).
AIA Trust News—Newsletter Articles
Catch the latest insights and ideas for running a successful practice – here are some recent topics on professional liability insurance & business coverage issues.
- Integrated Project Delivery & BIM
- Project-based IPD Insurance Coverage
- Protecting Your Firm When Going Green
- How to Buy Professional Liability Insurance
- Obtaining A Risk Mitigation Premium Credit
- Joint Ventures & Liability Claims
- Protect Your Income
- Employee Retention
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National Healthcare Reform
The passage of comprehensive health care reform in March 2010 has posed numerous questions—many of which still need to be answered. Various reforms will go into effect in progressive years. For many issues that will impact employers and policyholders, details involving those reforms are yet to be worked out by government regulators. Some resources summarize the timing and implications of various provisions while others address how reforms may affect your firm. As information becomes available, the AIA Trust will update and add resources.
- Update on how legislation affects small firm health insurance coverage options
- US Department of Health & Human Services timeline for health care provisions implementation
- AIA Trust summary of health care provisions
- AIA Trust webinar: How the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Affects You & Your Practice
- Aon Consulting looks at the impact of healthcare reform and how this legislation impacts employers
- Aon summary chart of insurance market reforms and the effect on various plans
- AIA Trust Healthcare Coverage page listing the benefit plans and services offered to AIA Members
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The AIA Trust assumes no liability for the use of this information by AIA members or by others who by clicking on any of the links above agree to use the same at their sole risk. Any other reproduction or use is strictly prohibited. This information is provided as a member service and neither the authors nor the AIA Trust is rendering legal advice. Laws vary by state and members should seek legal counsel or professional advice to evaluate these suggestions and to advise the member on proper risk management tools for each project.