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Curbing construction liability begins with good general insurance

The latest economic news is largely positive. The U.S. Labor Department reports that the jobless rate declined in October to a level of 5 percent. That's as low as it has been for the nation in more than seven years. The latest numbers indicate that unemployment is on the rise in Texas, but it's still running below the national average and the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts says permits for new construction continued to increase in September.

Increases in the construction industry mean opportunity. But it can also mean liability unless contracting businesses take proper care to first build a sturdy risk management program. Attorneys experienced in resolving difficult construction disputes, whether through negotiation or litigation, know that by anticipating issues, many potential problems can be avoided.

So, what should be the first brick in laying the proper foundation? Most experts would likely agree that it begins with a solid commercial general liability insurance policy -- key elements are widely understood to include:

  • Premises coverage on property where work is being conducted
  • Adequate shields against subcontractor or supplier liability
  • Coverage for issues that might arise out of contract indemnity provisions
  • Post-production protection that might arise once a development is operational
  • Contingency coverage to address costs stemming from litigation that might ensue

With a CGL platform in place it becomes possible to look for possible gaps in coverage that might need to be filled by supplemental policies. Review by an experienced attorney is helpful in this regard.

The objective is to achieve the highest level of certainty possible and doing that depends on understanding the legal climate in the state where business is being conducted. And, just like the weather, the legal climate is always changing.

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