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Construction Insurance Bulletin


By May 1, 2014No Comments

You’ve bid on the project and been awarded the work. Now all you need to do is sign the contracts and you’re underway. But wait a minute, there might be provisions in that contract that will cause you to wish you’d simply passed up the job. Are there agreements included that you might not be able to fulfill?

Have your counsel review any important legal document before signing it. We’re especially concerned about any provisions that might depend on your insurance to back you up. Although some of these provisions might be labeled clearly as insurance requirements, others just for coverage might not be so clear. For example, contracts commonly include a “hold-harmless” provision, under which the parties agree that if certain events occur, one party will take full responsibility for handling their repercussions. If this responsibility involves bodily injury or damage to the property of another, it could lead to a claim against the responsible party’s liability coverage. If you agree to be this provision, be sure your liability insurance covers all the types of events for which you’ve agreed to hold the other party harmless.

The best way to find out is to talk with us before signing the agreement. In most cases, your insurance covers the vast majority of responsibilities assumed under standard hold-harmless agreements. But there are no guarantees, especially if the agreement is non-standard or significantly broader than standard contract language. So the next time you’re pursuing a project that will require a hold-harmless agreement, give us — and your attorney — a call. Let us help make sure that when the time comes to shoulder the responsibility, your insurance will be there to help carry the load.