ASFP launches professional indemnity insurance scheme
THE ASSOCIATION for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) said that the professional indemnity (PI) insurance cover scheme would aim to help contractors obtain cover in a more difficult market.
In a press release, the ASFP stated that it had partnered with an insurance broker to offer the scheme, for both ‘existing and prospective’ ASFP members, and added that it had done so ‘in response to reports from specialist fire protection sub-contractors that they are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain cover’, with many such companies ‘facing significant premium increases or in some cases being refused cover’.
The ASFP explained that PI insurance is a ‘common contract requirement for sub-contractors’ that is requested ‘to show that the sub-contracting company has adequate underwritten protection in the event of any problems and/or claims arising’, with PI insurance covering sub contractors ‘in the event that a client suffers losses following the provision of advice, products and services, or design support’.
However, it is ‘not uncommon’ for sub contractors ‘to assume some part, or all of the design responsibility through their words and/or actions’, and as a result of the Grenfell Tower fire and other ‘significant’ fires, due diligence carried out ‘by persons with responsibility has increased significantly’, with ‘much greater scrutiny being placed on any changes to the original design made by sub-contractors’ and ‘on the method statements of product manufacturers’.
As a result, to ‘indemnify themselves against unforeseen risk’, sub contractors need to purchase PI insurance cover, and so ‘in order to give reassurance to the wider industry’ in terms of the ‘quality and professionalism’ of the ASFP membership, PI insurance ‘has been a requirement’ of membership ‘for some time’, with the new scheme aiming to ‘obtain discounts and offer support’ to members looking for cover because they can prove they meet the ASFP’s ‘strict competency and professional requirements’.
Such requirements include third party product and or installer certification, as well as following ASFP codes of practice for ‘supply, design, and installation’ of passive fire protection products and systems. The ASFP concluded by noting that the scheme is available to all existing members, as well as to individuals and companies ‘who wish to apply’ and require PI cover to meet membership criteria.