Construction Calamity: Risk Transfer Tips for Contractors After a Catastrophic Loss

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Issues can arise in all facets of the company’s contracts and insurance policies, and dealing with the aftermath is an extensive and demanding process that can involve many players.

August 17, 2020
William S. Bennett - Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C.

From structural collapses to fires, the construction industry has experienced a number of high-profile catastrophes over the past decade. These disasters test the mettle of even the most experienced risk professionals and the strongest insurance programs. Issues can arise in all facets of the company’s contracts and insurance policies, and dealing with the aftermath is an extensive and demanding process that can involve many players.

As overwhelming as the task may seem, however, it is possible for general contractors to get through the disaster with minimal uncovered exposure if proper steps are taken. By understanding some of the exposures a general contractor faces after a catastrophic loss and implementing key risk transfer strategies from the outset of a project, risk professionals can minimize the impact of a loss on the company in the short and long term.

Understanding Possible Risk Exposures
When a catastrophic loss occurs, contractors face a wide array of potential exposures. Unfortunately, many large catastrophic losses involve serious bodily injuries and even loss of life. If such a tragedy occurs, the general contractor can reasonably expect to be named in a flurry of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. Depending on the scope of the project and the area associated with the loss, the catastrophe may also prompt a wide range of bystander claims, from dust inhalation to emotional distress.

Mr. Bennett may be contacted at wsb@sdvlaw.com



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