Does your company undertake construction projects? If so, consider these two questions: Are you at risk from claims alleging illness or damage resulting from exposure to mold? Are you insured for this risk? Chances are, “Yes” and “No” respectively, are the correct answers. We can say with assurance that mold-related claims against contractors, as well as property owners and developers, are proliferating, and that insurance coverage for those claims is fast disappearing.
Are you covered if fire destroys your under-construction building if one tenant has begun to move in at the time of the fire? What if the project is a retention basin, and torrential rains flood costly pumps and generators during the testing phase of the project? Many builders’ risk policies, in their “When Coverage Begins and Ends” sections, have language such as:
The Umbrella insurance policy is meant to provide broad coverage—presumably broader in many cases than the primary policies over which it sits. However, thanks to limitations in terms, specific to contractors, your Umbrella coverage may actually be less broad than primary. Imagine having a multi-million dollar lawsuit on your hands, and being told it’s covered by your $1,000,000 primary liability insurance policy, but excluded by your $10 million Umbrella policy! Here are three areas where many Umbrella policies actually take away coverage that is present in the primary General Liability policy:
There’s no shortage of reminders in today’s headlines of why every business should have a disaster plan, and make sure their employees are familiar with it. J.J. Keller, specialists in workplace risk control, has put out a very simple 7-step guide that will get you started in the right direction. It follows, along with a link to its site, where more information can be found.
“Self-insured.” In the purest sense, it implies being big, powerful, and self-reliant. It also implies not being in the construction business. This is because contractors must present evidence of insurance to specified limits and with carriers of a specified size and quality in order to be awarded projects, to set foot on jobsites, or to receive payment for their work.