Q: Does being a systems integrator imply that we do design-build work? If so, should we have different insurance?
A: I don’t think you necessarily have to do design-build work if you refer to yourself as an integrator. As I found out (about 100 times) from our blog followers last week, there are many definitions of an integrator floating around. I would suspect most integration companies do design-build projects, but they could just as easily focus on consultant-led projects. I’ve never directly attached the term integrator to design-build contractor. Your insurance agent might.
As for the insurance part of this… Without question, if you do design-build work (as described by having direct involvement in the concept, layout, product selection, performance criteria customer expectations, etc.), you should absolutely carry errors and omissions insurance. I can name dozens of cases where our members who design projects that have gone bad found themselves with a professional liability policy that will only insure them against the workmanship, property damages, injury, etc. Please read your policy carefully to make sure it properly covers your business for defective design considerations, disputes, oversights, etc. If you are uncertain about the coverage, give us a call at 800.446.6722. We have people at SystemsPlus Insurance who do this every day. — CW