Business Insurance Requirements for Architects in Michigan

Michigan, home to more than 2,500 architects and one of the top architecture schools in the country, is a natural fit for your architecture firm. From the Romanesque Revival style of Bay City Hall to the unique layout of Detroit’s Belle Isle Conservatory, the state is brimming with design inspiration. To grow here, though, you will need business insurance to protect your practice.

Michigan law requires architects to carry workers’ compensation if they have an employee who works 35 or more hours a week or if they have three employees at any given time. State laws aside, most clients will request proof of professional liability insurance to cover project delays or mistakes. You may need general liability insurance if you lease commercial real estate for your firm. If you have a business-owned vehicle, you need commercial auto insurance to cover it.

Insureon makes shopping for insurance easy with industry-leading technology that gathers quotes from top U.S. carriers that fit your needs. Read on to learn more about the common types of architect insurance and their cost, or start an application to get your free quotes today.

Find the right insurance policy for your architecture firm

The most common insurance policies for architects depend on a variety of factors, including number of employees, revenue, client contracts, and partnerships. The table below illustrates which policies might work best for your business structure.


Business type General liability / BOP Professional liability Workers' comp Commercial auto
Sole proprietor X X   X
Partner X X   X
Contractor / freelancer X X   X
Employer X X X X


General liability insurance: General liability insurance is the foundation of an architect’s business protection. Coverage extends to bodily injury, client property damage, advertising injury, and the cost of legal defense. Most commercial leases require you to have this coverage.

Professional liability insurance: Many clients require proof of professional liability insurance before entering contracts for professional services. This policy, also called errors and omissions insurance or architect liability insurance, can help cover legal expenses if you’re sued for unsatisfactory work or a business discrepancy. If you work in a partnership with another architect or firm, make sure that your professional liability policy provides joint venture coverage. It can make sure each member is protected if the venture is sued.

Business owner's policy (BOP): Architects usually qualify for a business owner’s policy. This package helps your business save money by bundling commercial property insurance with general liability at an affordable rate.

Commercial auto insurance: Commercial auto insurance can cover vehicles your business owns or uses for business purposes. If your vehicle is involved in an accident, this policy can cover your liability for the other person's bodily injuries and property damage. It can also pay to repair your car when it is damaged by theft, weather events, or vandalism.  

Michigan workers' compensation insurance: Michigan law requires employers with three or more employees at any one time to carry workers’ compensation. This requirement also applies if you have one or more workers for 35 or more hours per week for 13 or more weeks. Independent contractors are not considered employees and don’t count toward this threshold. If your architecture firm doesn’t have employees, you may choose whether to carry coverage for yourself. This policy can help pay for medical expenses and lost wages associated with occupational injuries.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most common injuries experienced by architects nationwide result from overexertion and bodily reaction, followed by falls, slips, and trips.

Most Common Workplace Injuries: Architects in the U.S.

Business insurance costs for Michigan architects

The cost of architect insurance in Michigan, according to an analysis of Insureon applications, is in most cases comparable to the national median. The outlier is the cost of professional liability insurance.

Michigan architects pay a median of $5,298 a year ($442 per month) for professional liability insurance, whereas architects in other parts of the country may pay closer to the national median of $3,205 a year ($267 a month). However, when Michigan architects bundle professional liability and general liability, the cost drops significantly: $2,609 ($217 per month) for both policies. Workers’ compensation costs are lower than the national median: $421 per year versus $558 per year.

Median Insurance Costs for Michigan Architects

Save time and money with Insureon

Insureon’s industry-leading technology helps Michigan architects save time and money shopping for insurance by comparing policies from dozens of top U.S. carriers. Apply online and review quotes for the policies that best fit your business needs. Our insurance specialists are licensed in Michigan and can answer your questions as you consider coverage.

To make the application go even quicker, have this information ready:

  • Workforce details, such as the number and types of employees.
  • Current and projected revenue.
  • Business partnerships.
  • Insurance history and prior claims.
  • Commercial lease insurance requirements.

Apply for free architect insurance quotes today.