Is there such a thing as Professional Indemnity Insurance for Architects/Geometra's????

Kensington2 Image
05/30/2010 - 09:23

We are about to embark on an ambitious new build project in Tuscany. We already have an Architect on board who has done all the plans and has engaged structural engineers and geologists etc who have submitted their recommendations to him. A thought has occurred to me that 'what if it all goes wrong'!! Obviously the last thing I want is to build this house and then for something dramatic to happen (like the property subsides) and then I have no recourse to the professionals who were in charge of the design. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.



Certainly there is a level of professional indemnity insurance in Italy - more solid through the geometra than through the architect (nothing against architects, simply that it is a tad more formalised with the geometra's professional association). But it's a hell of a nasty start to a relationship that you are angsty about this stuff. If you think that commissioning a building is akin to buying a kettle from John Lewis... just don't do it; save yourself a lot of grief. Pillock.

Fillide....whilst I understand that your comment was written at 2:25am and you obviously have got little going on in your life there is absolutly no need to call me a pillock. My comment is a perfect civil question and does not warrent that kind of abuse. Other questions are asked all the time on this forum and are answered by normal people who wish to give other people a helping hand with their advice. That was all I asked. It is not fair to abuse this forum with those kinds of comments. You will stop people from posing questions and this forum will die. So you know what to do.... 

Hello Kensington, Its not unusual halfway through a project to change one's architect/geometra because relationships have broken down for whatever reasons. Obviously hope that you never get into this situation, but if you do, its debatable in reality that you will be able to make a succesful claim. I sued a professional body in the UK over a property related matter and the case took eleven years (I kid you not) before it was settled in my favour. Italy has one of the longest judicial sytems in terms of length of time its takes to reach a final decision. (On average, nearly four years but many disputes go on for a lot longer). I would say, you must go in with your eyes open. I don't think that you can count on any professional body making good your losses. Weigh up the risks and rewards before committing fully. Good luck.

The architect should have professional insurance - but it does not harm for you also to have a policy.  Any new buiild in Italy must be covered for faults in the construction for 10 years, and the builder and architect take responsibility for that.... but as Capo Boi says if you have to turn to the law it will be a lengthy and arduous process.  Make sure that your contract with the architect absolves you of any responsibility and places it all on his shoulders - get it translated by an independent translator if need be, and dont be afraid to add clauses. .