Why insured surveyors matter

Mistakes are part of life for everyone including land surveyors. Surveyors are so familiar with mistakes that they call them "blunders." In a profession where accuracy and precision are important, even the smallest mistake can be costly. Dealing with a surveying problem is never a good thing. Dealing with a surveying problem without professional liability insurance is always a bad thing. Here are reasons why contracting with insured surveyors makes good business sense:

1. Mistakes can be costly to fix

Alignment and elevation errors often involve the tearing out and rebuild of in-place construction. Often the most feasible, though expensive, solution requires purchasing additional land from an adjacent property owner.

2. Time is money

When a surveyor makes a mistake there is often little dispute over liability. Insured surveyors look to their professional liability insurer to provide the funds to fix the problem. Uninsured surveyors may simply not have the financial stability to weather the storm putting critical real estate and construction project timelines in jeopardy.

3. Addressing risk is good business

Successful businesses understand the important role that insurance plays in managing risk. This includes the vicarious liability they assume when they contract for professional services. It doesn't make sense to assume the liability of an uninsured surveyor.

4. Insured surveyors understand

Surveyors who carry professional liability insurance understand mistakes are inherent in any business endeavor. Insured surveyors understand that professional liability insurance not only protects them but also their clients when the things go wrong.

5. Fees are comparable

While the fees charged by insured surveyors may be more, they certainly aren't so much higher that they should be the single determining factor in the selection process. Is saving a few dollars worth the risk?

Surveyors that carry professional liability insurance are good for everyone. When it comes to managing risk and minimizing liability, it's always good to know that you are working with someone that will be there if things go sideways. Mistakes happen. Insured surveyors understand they are not immune to making mistakes. 

A mistake is a "blunder," a "goof," a "slip-up." Mistakes occur in both counting and measuring, and in a lot of other things. Mistakes in measurement can be traced to carelessness, inattention, improper training, bad habits, lack of innate ability, poor judgment, adverse measuring or observing conditions, and various negative attitudes, emotions and perceptions that plague humans."

The Nature of Measurement: Part 2, Mistakes and Errors
Professional Surveyor Magazine — April 1997