As always with construction projects, it is important that owners of new developments understand insurance coverage to ensure that there is adequate insurance to address any potential risks during and after the construction of the project. While most owners maintain commercial general liability policies or rely on project-specific policies, these policies may not fully protect the owner against any and all risks that they may face during and after construction. This article addresses two unique areas in which owners should take special note to ensure that they are covered for these particular risks: third party action over claims and products-completed operations coverage.
Owner contracts with Roofer to assist in the construction of the roof of a commercial building. During construction, Roofer’s employee falls and injures himself on the project site and collects workers’ compensation benefits under Roofer’s workers’ compensation policy. Typically, Owner would not consider any risks with respect to this injury as Owner required Roofer, in the subcontract, to maintain workers’ compensation insurance. However, despite receiving workers’ compensation benefits, Roofer’s employee files an action against Owner alleging negligence for failing to properly maintain a safe work site.The action filed by Roofer’s employee is considered a third party action over claim. The employee is unable to sue Roofer because workers’ compensation is the employee’s exclusive remedy against his or her employer. Thus, the injured employee brings an action against Owner alleging that Owner’s negligence in failing to maintain the project site contributed to the employee’s injuries.
Read More »Potential Exposures for Construction Owners