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Commercial Crime Coverages for Architects & Engineers


Spring is in the air, and optimism surrounding the construction industry is at a new high!

We don’t want to kill the buzz, but this is as good a time as any to remember that your design firm isn’t impervious to crime-related loss or damage. Your insurance policy can (and should!) include a few specific coverages to protect you against things like Employee Dishonesty, Burglary, and Computer Fraud.

The following is an excerpt from our Typical Coverages for Design Professionals, and we hope it will educate you and give you some peace of mind:


Commercial Crime Coverages include several separate insuring agreements. Some or all of these individual coverages may be selected, depending on the individual needs of a design firm:

Employee Dishonesty: This coverage pays for loss sustained by the insured employer up to a specified amount, caused by a dishonest act of an employee or employees covered under the policy. This includes dishonest acts of the embezzlement of money or property, including inventory, owned by the insured.

Forgery or Alteration: This coverage pays for loss sustained by the insured employer for forgery or alteration of checks (including blank checks) issued by the insured. Coverage may be extended to include checks forged or altered by employees as well as others.

Premises Theft and Outside Robbery: This coverage applies to money and securities inside the premises or a banking premises or outside the premises in the care and custody of a messenger, for theft, disappearance or destruction.

Robbery and Safe Burglary: Coverage applies to loss caused by actual or attempted robbery inside the premises of property other than money and securities that is in the care and custody of a custodian. Coverage applies for the same property outside the premises in the care and custody of a messenger. Coverage applies to the actual or attempted burglary of a safe inside the premises of money, securities and property within the safe. Damage caused by the burglary or attempted burglary to the premises and safe is covered.

Premises Burglary: Covers property other than money and securities inside the premises for loss caused by actual or attempted robbery of a watch person or actual or attempted burglary.

Computer Fraud: Covers the loss of money, securities and other property when caused by a dishonest act of a non-employee via computer access.

ERISA Endorsements: ERISA Endorsements may be added to the Commercial Crime Policy to cover responsibilities under federal laws requiring coverage for eligible benefit plans. It should be noted that in the event a dishonest act includes both the insured’s property and a employee benefit plan, policy proceeds are distributed first to the employee benefit plans.


Under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) every administrator, officer and employee of any employee welfare benefit plan or employee pension plan who handles funds of the plan must be bonded. The amount of the bond must be at least 10% of the value of the plan. ERISA bonds provide coverage against loss by fraud or dishonesty. Coverage may be included as part of a Commercial Package Policy or as a stand-alone bond.

If you have questions about any of these insurance coverages, make sure to contact your local a/e ProNet broker and ask. This is what we do!


This information is for illustrative purposes only and is intended to provide only a general overview of the insurance policies described. It is important to review actual policy terms, coverage conditions and exclusions with a qualified insurance professional. Not all policies shown are necessarily recommended for all A/E firms.