In the AEC industry, E&O (error and omissions) claims are an accepted cost of doing business. One professional liability insurer found that “firms with annual billings greater than $5 million on average experience one claim for every $10 million in revenues. Meanwhile, smaller firms tend to have greater claims frequency: those with revenues of $500,000-$5 million average about two claims for every $10 million in revenues; firms below $500,000 see five or more claims for every $10 million in revenues.”
With over $170 million in annual revenue, Salas O’Brien should have experienced at least a dozen E&O claims in the past 12 months according to the findings above. But we have not experienced a single one—in the past 12 months or in any month we’ve been in business.
We asked our CEO for his perspective on why we’ve had such a successful track record. Here’s what he shared.
The first reason is culture. Rather than assuming claims will happen, we’ve created a culture of technical excellence and accountability that expects claims won’t happen. “We make sure our clients’ interests are protected and that specifications and all details are clear. We deliver what we say we’ll deliver. Those things make a difference to clients,” CEO Darin Anderson explained.
The second factor is a focus on long-term relationships. We proactively communicate any updates or changes to clients to make sure they’re always aware of our progress. If we ever do make a mistake, we’re quick to claim responsibility for it and then make it right. Taking excellent care of our clients is our first priority.
Third, our team’s longevity with the company ensures consistency on all our projects. Our growing team consists of highly qualified, experienced people, and senior-level experts are involved in every project. According to Darin, “The pool of talent and the collaborative, caring spirit we have in our organization make something special for the client.”
The final way we’ve achieved a successful track record is ownership. Salas O’Brien is completely employee-owned, meaning employees have a vested interest in the success of every job. Each project’s team member feels responsible for ensuring the project is completed on time, within budget, and according to the client’s specifications. Our team’s spirit of commitment and collaboration translates into unprecedented project success.