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Asbestos surveyors professional indemnity insurance, PI cover

Asbestos surveyors professional indemnity insurance

Many Professional Indemnity insurance policies either restrict or exclude Asbestos Surveyors Professional Indemnity Insurance.

Why is Asbestos a problem?

When Asbestos materials are damaged or disturbed they can release dangerous fibres which, if breathed in, can cause serious diseases. Around 4500 people in Great Britain die every year from asbestos related diseases, making asbestos the single greatest cause of work related deaths.

In order to help to minimise the risks posed by Asbestos, the Government introduced The Control of Asbestos Regulations as part of current legislation. This puts the onus on to the duty holder who in many cases, is the person or organisation that has clear responsibility for the maintenance or repair of non-domestic premises, to find out whether the premises contains asbestos, and, if so, where it is and what condition it is in. If in doubt, materials must be presumed to contain asbestos.

In order to do this, in many cases, an asbestos survey by a suitably qualified person will be required. As the surveyor, your client will rely on YOU to establish the following points to reduce the risk to them of criminal prosecution for breach of Health & Safety Law.

Asbestos survey variations

The key to managing asbestos is to:

  • Identify its location
  • Through laboratory testing identify its type
  • Ascertain its condition
  • Work out how much you have of the material

This can be achieved by carrying out one of the following surveys:

  • Management Survey
    The Management Survey purpose is required to manage ACM during the normal occupation and use of premises.  The duty-holder can make a Management Survey where the premises are simple and straightforward.  Otherwise, a surveyor is needed.A Management Survey aims to ensure that:

    1. nobody is harmed by the continuing presence of ACM in the premises or equipment
    2. that the ACM remain in good condition
    3. that nobody disturbs it accidentally

    The Survey must locate ACM that could be damaged or disturbed by normal activities, by foreseeable maintenance, or by installing new equipment.  It involves minor intrusion and minor asbestos disturbance to make a Materials Assessment.  This shows the ability of ACM, if disturbed, to release fibres into the air.  It guides the client, eg in prioritising any remedial work.

  • Refurbishment / demolition survey

    The Refurbishment / demolition Survey is required where the premises, or part of it, need upgrading, refurbishment or demolition.  The Survey does not need a record of the ACM condition.  Normally, a surveyor is needed for Refurbishment / demolition Surveys.

    A Refurbishment / demolition Survey aims to ensure that:

    1. nobody will be harmed by work on ACM in the premises or equipment
    2. such work will be done by the right contractor in the right way

    The Survey must locate and identify all ACM before any structural work begins at a stated location or on stated equipment at the premises.  It involves destructive inspection and asbestos disturbance.  The area surveyed must be vacated, and certified ‘fit for reoccupation’ after the survey.

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Asbestos Surveyors Professional Indemnity Insurance – Potential Claim Situations

Following a survey, there are a number of situations that could occur leaving you, the surveyor, exposed to a claim from your client. This could include but may not be limited to one of the following scenarios:

  • Claim against the building surveyor for failure to identify existence of asbestos.
  • Claim against the surveyor for identifying the asbestos in parts of a building but not others. An asbestos contractor will have been appointed to remove the asbestos, works will have commenced and then the work will be put on hold when more asbestos is found, there is a claim made for the consequent delay, including claims the under Health & Safety Act
  • The identification of asbestos ‘type’ and advice given in respect of the treatment proves to be incorrect. A claim is made for the cost and consequences of this.
  • Claims for distress arising out of failure to indentify asbestos.
  • Identification of asbestos within the survey report but a subsequent failure to notify contractors further down the line. Generally there are about 4500 deaths per year from asbestos exposure – mainly through failure to identify the material and ignorance of its risk to health. Most Professional Indemnity insurers exclude or restrict cover for asbestos related risks due to the insurance market’s significant exposure to personal injury claims arising from asbestos related diseases such as mesothelioma.

Asbestos Surveyors Professional Indemnity insurance

As a result of the above, it’s imperative to seek adequate cover for you and your Employee’s acting on your behalf, for claims arising from what would be deemed to be acts of negligence, errors and omissions in your professional advice.

PI insurance protects your business against claims for loss or damage made by a client or third party if you make mistakes or are found to have been negligent in some or all of the services you provided. PI insurance will also cover legal costs.

Work relating to asbestos can normally prove a bit of a challenge when seeking insurance but our bespoke policy is designed to take make things easier for you. We can help surveyors involved in type 1, 2 and 3 Asbestos surveying to obtain excellent cover quickly and at competitive premiums.

Asbestos surveyors professional indemnity insurance – download quote form here. (To complete the form, please right click on link and click ‘save PDF’)

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