Most construction contracts contain insurance provisions setting forth the insurance required of the contractor or other downstream parties. Some provisions are detailed and lengthy while others are short and sweet, but all are of critical importance and should be fully understood by the contractor before signing the contract. Also, every insured should understand not only what the contract requires but more importantly what the actual policy states, as the policy, not the contract, will govern whether or not there is coverage. It is possible that certificates received will match the contractual requirements, but much of what the policy covers is not reflected on a certificate. Lurking behind the certificate is the policy, which is where the actual coverage lies. The endorsements or exclusions to the policy can make the certificates worthless pieces of paper.
There are many exclusions that can cancel coverage for the work a contractor may perform. Height exclusions, residential exclusions, EFIS exclusions and many more, focus on the type of work or materials that the contractor is performing or using. One exclusion, however, focuses on who is insured and that exclusion alone can eliminate all coverage.