Liability Claims Against Soils Firms Slashed Dramatically

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1977, Vol. 47, Issue 8, Pg. 67-68

Document Type: Feature article


In 1969, consulting engineering firms engaged on soil and foundation engineering were virtually uninsurable. Taking the bull by the horms, a group of 10 soil and foundation engineering firms first established what is now the Assoc. of Soil and Foundation Engineers (ASFE). The purpose of this organization was — and still is — to develop programs to help members to reduce their exposure to professional liability. The firms established their own insurance program, leading to the founding of Terra Insurance, Ltd. Terra is an insurance company providing professional liability insurance solely for soil and foundation engineers. Terra has had enviable success. In fact, it recently paid a 63% policyholder dividend. A major factor in firms' reduced liability exposure is ASFE's Institute for Professional Practice, an intensive seminar that trains consultants in techniques for avoiding liability situations.

Subject Headings: Consulting services | Foundations | Insurance | Liability | Claims | Soil classification | Professional societies | Professional practice

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