Insurance is required to protect costs if you get sued; however, if you’ve considered purchasing it, you’re aware that the expenses can be high. In the case of Professional Liability Insurance, sometimes it can feel like the odds are against you. Professional Liability Insurance could rank among your company’s highest running costs, depending on the type of business you run.

Why is insurance higher for some engineers than for others? Despite the many similarities among different engineering fields, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all insurance policy for every area. Numerous outside influences, like your company’s size, location, sales, operations, claims history, and even the engineering specialty you specialize in, affect the price of your insurance.

Want to know where you stand on the scale? Below are five engineering fields, as well as what they can do to affect the cost of insurance.


While electrical engineers might have higher claims rates, they’re usually smaller in severity, less significant, and more manageable. Due to the damage and repair costs related to lighting design, residential power distribution tends to be minimal. Perhaps the latest technology you suggested isn’t functioning according to the plan. Or maybe the sensors you created for alarm systems keep being activated. However, these issues may be frustrating for clients; they’re typically caught and fixed before becoming more serious.

There are, of course, certain exceptions to the rules. For engineers who work in substations or on projects requiring high power, such as mining or using automated equipment, there is always the possibility of bodily injury and property damages. However, electrical engineers aren’t typically considered high-risk. They usually get placed on the lower end of insurance rates.


Geotechnical engineers aren’t able to make numerous claims; the ones that they can make have been relatively high in intensity. It is due to the degree of uncertainty in determining subsurface conditions. Despite advances in testing and sampling, you may be unable to accurately account for every sinkhole, boulder, or soil movement. However, unpredictable conditions on the site can swiftly extend timeframes and increase repair costs, and even lead to costly claims if your client chooses to file a lawsuit.

In addition, most problems involving bearing capacity and soil issues aren’t noticed until well into construction or years after the project has got completed. There’s usually no simple fix. The further an undertaking is, the more work you’ll need to do, and the more costly the repairs will be. In the end, it’s far more expensive to retrofit, deconstruct and rebuild a structure than to replace the malfunctioning lighting system or faulty equipment. The cost of claims can easily be six figures, mainly when property damage or injury or if the building needs to get removed entirely.

Geotechnical engineers face the most significant difficulty getting insurance. If they find an insurance provider willing to cover them, the coverage is usually not as extensive and expensive.


Although structural engineers might not be able to make claims as serious as geotechnical engineers, they generally have more shares and are more severe. With average costs for claims up to six figures, they have difficulty finding coverage for a reasonable price, and premiums can even reach the hundreds of thousands. Why? In many instances, problems with design can require years to discover and could cause catastrophic injuries, like the failure of the building envelope, roof collapses, and personal injuries.

The structural engineers also have to pay some of the highest legal fees. Even when you’ve done nothing wrong, people can question the mistakes in construction and design before any other issues should a building show evidence of wear and tear. In an increasingly litigious world, people get urged to identify who could get held to even the tiniest responsibility for any loss. But, you’ll have to defend yourself to get rid of your name. And long-term lawsuits over unfounded claims could rapidly increase legal fees.

When you start residential construction projects, such as condos, bespoke homes, or luxury homes, there is a higher chance of harm. Owners of homes can be difficult to please and are likely to be more prone to suing when they notice leaks or cracks. Thus, residential construction is considered riskier and more costly than commercial projects. Such as an office or storage facility, where the owner is more familiar with the building and design process.


Mechanical engineers are difficult to classify in terms of insurance because their profession is one of the most diverse in engineering. The general rule is that the claims of mechanical engineers are less severe. However, they are also frequent. Similar to mechanical engineers, structural engineers tend to get mentioned in numerous lawsuits, specifically those working on hospitals or assembly structures. Often, those who do not maintain their equipment argue that the breakdowns or failures resulted from an oversight in design.

Failures of equipment or systems that get not sized can cause delays to budgets and schedules of projects. Mainly if mistakes occur closer to completion and commissioning fails to go as planned. Furthermore, mechanical engineers specializing in HVAC may be at the center of other claims involving construction delays.

As there isn’t any unsafe equipment or systems, Insurance companies are generally not very tolerant of mechanical engineering. The insurance premiums could be higher, but they’re not as costly as structural or geotechnical engineers.


Civil engineering claims have grown in terms of cost and severity. Suppose it’s a bridge pipeline or power plant. In that case, the projects tend to be large and expensive and involve a lot of parties and more extensive supply chains with millions at stake. With all the parties involved, it isn’t easy to control quality. Equipment or machinery that get specially designed could be purchased and transported worldwide. It increases the risk of delays, miscommunications, and repair costs if items are damaged during transport or improperly assembled.

In addition, civil engineers construct structures designed to be used by the general public. The risk of damage is substantial since a more significant number of individuals could be affected due to an error.

What Does That Mean to You?

Suppose insurance gets required in your area. In that case, You might get tempted to save money by purchasing a cheaper insurance policy. You have the coverage you need for a particular project or avoid it entirely, primarily when consulting for a few hours or even starting your own company.

However, operating without insurance or using a generic insurance plan not explicitly tailored to your requirements is a risk you should not take. There’s no way to know whether you’ll get hit with claims, and, If you do face a claim, you’ll need to pay the cost out of pocket. In addition, it takes only one accident to put you in the trash. If you’ve already had one, it will be challenging to be able to qualify to be insured in the future.

How May the Price of Insurance Be Reduced?

Although you cannot manage your risk through the method, you can take steps to decrease the frequency and severity of your business-related claims. Make it clear to insurance companies that you’re determined to avoid claims that suggest you’re a high risk. You’ll be able to reduce your insurance premiums by doing so.

Develop a proactive risk-management method that allows you to spot mistakes early and manage your expenses over the long term. Make sure you work contracts properly, even if you have an extensive list of repeat clients. Make sure to communicate clearly and document every interaction with the key players. Most importantly, it would help if you collaborated with a risk consultant who is specialized in engineering and knows the risks associated with your particular field.

To learn more about your risk and how you can safeguard yourself, contact Commercial Insurance Ottawa today for a commercial or business insurance quote at (613) 454-5640 or email at