General Contractor Insurance Claims: Common Examples

Are you prepared for the risks involved in general contracting work? Optimism and a can-do spirit are essential to every business. Construction contractors cannot afford to overlook the less positive aspects of the industry.

Workplace accidents, inclement weather, theft, vandalism, and other problems can lead to general contractor insurance claims that can quickly derail a construction project. New York property owners will expect to see certificates of insurance from any contractor they hire.

Comprehensive utility contractor insurance offered by TCE Insurance Services provides a way to manage risk and reassure clients. Consider each of the following sources of liability and risk exposure. If your policy does not cover them all, TCE Insurance Services is here to help.

Liability for Bodily Injury

Despite our best efforts to put safety first, workers and other people on construction sites often sustain injuries. Some injuries can be life-threatening and permanently debilitating, costing millions of dollars in general contractor insurance claims.

Before your workers don a hard hat and set foot on the construction site, have a comprehensive policy that can get you through just about anything.

Workers’ Compensation Claims

If one of your employees becomes injured on the job in New York, they are entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim against you for the damage. The injury could include:

  • Lacerations from equipment
  • Electrical burns
  • Falls
  • Crush injuries from falling materials
  • Exposure to toxins and infectious agents
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Post-traumatic stress or emotional distress

Violations of the Scaffold Law

Since the 19th century, New York State lawmakers have protected the rights of workers on construction sites. New York State Labor Law 240 (the Scaffold Law) holds owners and contractors liable when employees suffer injuries due to gravity and lack adequate protective equipment. The actions of gravity can include employee falls, structural collapses, and falling objects, whether an employee is on scaffolding or ground level.

Liability for Subcontractors

Some liability insurance policies contain exclusions. These exclusions limit your insurance provider’s responsibility to pay out general contractor insurance claims if a subcontractor does not have adequate coverage.

For example, consider a situation where you take a job remodeling a building and hire a subcontractor to do the electrical work. The subcontractor uses substandard protective gear, and one of their employees suffers severe burns in an accident.

The employee files a workers’ compensation claim against the subcontractor, but that claim does not cover medical expenses. If your policy has a hammer clause called a sub-warranty, your provider is not obligated to pay for general contractor insurance claims arising from costs that the subcontractor’s policy did not cover.

Liability for Property Damage and Theft

Construction sites are often easy targets for vandalism and theft. Contractors often lack the time and resources to relocate equipment to a secured location at the end of each workday or guard properties overnight. In most cases, the property under construction has visible scaffolding, supplies, and other signs of ongoing work.

Even if you install a lockbox, padlock the gate, install cameras, and take other security measures, you might still be a victim of theft. You could wake up to find the lock destroyed, cameras disabled or stolen, and equipment missing from the work site.

Squatters, thieves, and vandals could damage other property, including the property owner’s belongings. The damage done to the property could pose a hazard to employees if protective equipment no longer functions or if the damage compromises the property’s structural integrity.

Builder’s Risk

If the property you work on suffers damage due to vandalism, natural disaster, or any other cause, you might lose inventory that has not yet become part of the building. If you have tile, wood, drywall, light fixtures, and other materials on the property, the builder’s risk coverage in your policy should cover the replacement of any damaged items.

Weather can also be unpredictable. Consider the contractors and construction companies who had ongoing projects when Hurricane Sandy struck. With the weather becoming more volatile in recent years, general contractors should consider whether their builder’s risk coverage is adequate to cover general contractor insurance claims from disasters.

Get Contractor Insurance You Can Count On from TCE Insurance Services

TCE Insurance Services is part of the New York business community. From our offices on Staten Island and Long Island, our insurance company helps countless contractors in the tri-state area handle general contractor insurance claims, understand the claims process, and find the insurance coverage that works for them.

Call (718) 804-5812 and (631) 336-2572 to learn more about the different types of construction insurance we offer.