Apr 23

Plumbers and HVAC Pollution Liability Exposures

plumber Plumbers and HVAC Pollution Liability ExposuresToday’s plumbing or HVAC professional is assuming risks that were previously covered by their general liability policies. Insurance carriers today routinely insert pollution, asbestos, lead, microbial matter (mold) and bacteria exclusions into their policies. These exclusions were being added over the last 8 years as insurance carriers were paying claims for the above exposures they never intended to cover. Insurance companies develop new exclusions when they start getting losses they never originally contemplated. Plumbers and HVAC contractors are the new targets of the attorneys who routinely sue fire/water restoration contractors. The need for pollution insurance arose for this group when the pollution exclusions were put into their policies. Lawyers started suing for mold, then lead and asbestos. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 07


As a licensed general contractor and surplus lines insurance broker myself, many ordinary insurance brokers and their general contractors we have routinely insure have asked us for guidance with their own risk management.  These clients all know I am a General Contractor myself and have asked me how I managed risks with my own construction company over the years. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 01

Understanding the Dreaded “Hammer Clause” and its impact on Restoration Contractors and Additional Insureds

Hammer 300x273 Understanding the Dreaded “Hammer Clause” and its impact on Restoration Contractors and Additional InsuredsI have recently seen contractor pollution policies and contractor professional liability policies that contain the dreaded “hammer clause”.   Some insurance carriers also call this the “cooperation clause”  as it forces insureds to make difficult choices they normally would not agree to in the event of a loss.  This is something not yet seen in the restoration contractor class of business and has caused us some concern as the vast majority of carriers in this class of business do not have hammer clauses.

The hammer clause is usually found in many types of professional liability and directors & officer’s liability policies.  One usually finds hammer clauses in professional liability policies for physicians, surgeons, attorneys, CPA’s, etc.

Most policies give the insured the right to consent or withhold consent to a proposed insurance settlement.   The insurer may wish to be me more competitive on its pricing to increase its sales and limit its liability on large liability losses.  In this case, the insurer may wish to insert a hammer clause into its policy forms.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 28

Everything you want to know Pollution Liability For Plumbers & HVAC

We are offering a free 20 instructional video minute video for free as a training resource for insurance agencies. We discuss everything you want to know about contractor pollution liability for plumbers and HVAC risks.  We discuss asbestos, lead, mold and other pollutants in detail in the video.  We also discuss claims made vs. occurrence as well as prior acts coverage (nose coverage) and extended reporting periods (tail coverage).  We have also included some claims examples.  We will be creating free content in the future on a number of different subjects for you to share with your staff to train them or as a sales tool for you to use with your insureds.

Jul 11

Why Restoration Contractors Need Professional Liability

lead paint removal 300x200 Why Restoration Contractors Need Professional LiabilityI am continuously asked why restoration contractors should carry professional liability insurance.

Professional liability should be carried by those who prepare reports or provide opinions that others rely on.

“Professional Liability coverage can be offered along with CPL to many non-environmental contractors (general contractors, restoration contractors, construction managers, or specialty contractors) performing project management, plan review, field modifications, contractor and subcontractor selection, scheduling and sequencing services.”

I have had claims where our insured is a restorer and is asked by an adjuster to do a “bid comp” for them.  The adjuster has a scope and pricing put together and the property owner has a contractor not using Xactimate, who does not do insurance work, write a scope of repairs that is on the moon.  Our insured prepares an estimate for the adjuster, may charge him a fee, and is willing to do the job at a set price plus supplementals as the job dictates may be needed. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 28

EPA – Lead Paint Removal Rules

A new law took affect in April 2008 which regulates all contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

Jun 04

Washington landlord cited for failing to notify tenants of lead paint

moving Washington landlord cited for failing to notify tenants of lead paint (Seattle – May 15, 2012) Robert Kerr of Everett, Washington will pay a penalty for alleged violations of the federal Real Estate Notification and Disclosure Rule, according to a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Mr. Kerr leases properties located in Bellingham, Washington. From 2008-2010, Mr. Kerr leased 26 residential units numerous times and failed to notify tenants about the presence of lead paint and lead-based paint hazards, as required by the Disclosure Rule. Mr. Kerr will pay a $21,800 penalty.

“People have the right to know about lead hazards prior to renting or buying a place to live,” said Rick Albright, Director of EPA’s Office of Air, Waste and Toxics in Seattle. “Sellers, landlords and property managers who do not properly notify the people who will live in these homes can face stiff penalties.” Read the rest of this entry »

May 22

Real Life Examples of Contractor Pollution Claims.

Call us at (888) 473-8985

Why do all types of contractors need Contractor Pollution Liability?

Because environmental claims can happen to any type of contractor.

Many non-environmental contractors assume that claims arising from operations are covered by their general liability policy. Most commercial general liability policies have total pollution exclusions which leaves contractors bare in the event of an alleged environmental claim. The Contractor Pollution Liability Policy (CPL) is designed to cover them for accidental pollution incidents which could cause possible severe financial harm to them.

The following examples are a sample of the types of claims that could happen to a non-environmental contractor and have a devastating effect on their companies.

Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 25

Why Your Insurance Agency Should Offer Contractor Pollution Liability On Construction Risks

Visit http://www.nationaleands.com or call us at (888) 473-8985

There are two things that motivate insurance agencies, additional revenue streams from cross selling opportunities and protecting the agency from errors and omissions claims.

Contractors are around potential pollution hazards on a daily basis and virtually every single general liability policy issued today in the United States has a pollution exclusion. This can present a problem for your agency in the event one of your insured’s is sued for a pollution event on a job even though they did not cause the event. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 23

Wondering If The EPA Is Going To Fine Contractors For Violations?

So the question has been bandied about whether or not the EPA would actually crack down on contractors and fine them for violations. Well we now have an answer! HosingZone.com is reporting that Two remodelers and a rental property owner have been fined by the EPA for violations of the Lead Renovation, Repair and the Painting Rule. Read the full article here.  http://www.housingzone.com/codes-and-standards/two-remodelers-fined-epa-lead-paint-violations

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