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The code of professional conduct includes regulations which make you liable for the planning work you carry out.

When comparing and selecting relevant insurance brokers, RTPI members can visit Howden to get advice and a quote online, or phone direct on 0330 127 7638.

Do I need insurance?

You will need insurance if you:

  • are a director or partner in a firm offering planning services to the public, other professional or clients
  • are employed in a firm offering planning services
  • are a private or freelance consultant (including full time, part time, voluntary or on an adhoc or occasional basis)
  • act as an unpaid adviser to organisations or people (including family, friends and acquaintances). NB: Registered volunteers who provide planning advice through the RTPI’s Planning Aid England service are covered and would not require separate insurance for this specific work.


You are exempt from these regulations if you are teaching, lecturing or working for local authorities.

Providing personal advice or volunteering when retired

There can be a difference between providing planning services and sharing your personal knowledge.  Be careful and:

  • use your judgement on what seems reasonable
  • always refer the person to their nearest planning authority
  • always direct them to local Planning Aid services, planning consultancies and other useful information on our website

Minimum policy cover

You should first consult the code for the minimum policy cover requirements and also note the RTPI approved policy wording document.

Low incomes

If you only offer free advice or your income is £20,000 or less a year, contact Howden for advice by email or phone direct on 0330 127 7638.

Run off cover

Please follow the established convention and hold run-off cover for six years after you stop trading.

General information

You may also wish to consider:

  • What is your role in the project?
  • Are you responsible for appointing other professionals on the project? If so, are you liable for any errors that they may make?
  • If an error occurs, what are the likely outcomes and the potential costs involved in rectifying it?
  • Are you required to carry a certain minimum amount of cover by the customer as part of the terms of appointment?

You may also find that particular clients will require you to carry a minimum limit of indemnity under your terms of appointment with them. If this feels disproportionate to the amount or type of work that you would be undertaking for them, RTPI members can visit Howden to get advice and a quote online, or phone direct on 0330 127 7638.