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Construction Insurance Bulletin

Flying, Driving Robots to Globalization: New excess liability concerns

By July 1, 2015No Comments
Excess liability, umbrella liability, high levels of general liability, whatever increases your limits of unknown liabilities, worries your insurer endlessly.

The modern world of commerce and delivery offers changes in liability just as fast as changes in how business is conducted and life is enjoyed.

Globalization moves labor to foreign lands which do not require many of the costs of employment that domestic manufacturing does. Supply chains may include many foreign countries with far-reaching impacts on liability.

Although superficially this cost savings sounds inviting, foreign governments insist on higher limits of liability for corporate citizenship regarding products and environmental issues.

Domestic carriers can be hesitant to accept new hazards. Foreign carriers are not admitted readily in the United States. Surplus lines carriers are more free to manuscript coverage, but Boards of Directors are less likely to allow non-admitted carriers as insurers.

This conflict can only be resolved by admitting more foreign competition to write what business now views as excess and surplus lines. Business must gain coverage for the most strict liability laws it encounters.

Delivery systems are more likely to include drone aircraft and self-driving vehicles in the near future. The vehicles are testing in several states for the open road now. They commonly deliver internal packages at companies and have done so for years.

Umbrella liability carriers concerns include sharing the skies with commercial passenger and freight delivery aircraft. Can so many signals interfere with or confuse flight controls?

The brave new world has insurance companies cowering and amending standard language to exclude some of these exposures.

With almost everything controlled by computer programs, whether air traffic control or your business’ reputation, cyber liability losses are becoming very limit.

Cyber attacks cost millions at a minimum. Diverting a robot, injuring your on-line presence, stealing data all can cause major umbrella losses, and the business liability is allowing itself to be robbed.

Excess and umbrella carriers need to prepare quickly for these new technological conditions. The market will change this decade.