Remember the rule of thumb. Everyone who has any connection to the project is likely to be brought into the suit. In this episode, we discuss the proper coverage in regards to design firms and the addition of Professional Liability insurance.
The Issue. Though you will find that the contractor can and will be required to include the design firm as an additional insured on its General Liability, the Professional Liability insurer for the design firm will not add the contractor as an additional insured, leaving the contractor unprotected for professional negligence issues unless it has secured its own Professional Liability coverage. Pressure to keep the project on schedule may encourage making “field changes” that can be overlooked for a sign-off by the design firm leaving the contractor at risk for such claims.
Why It’s Important. The instances of contractors being pulled into professional liability claims continues to be a significant risk factor. Remember the rule of thumb....everyone who has any connection is likely to be brought into the suit. Many contracts today are frequently calling for contractors to have their own PL coverage.
Short Answer. Considering the expense to defend or get removed from an action, the cost to secure coverage for most contractors is of small significance when compared to the rest of the commercial insurance cost. Also, the General Liability policy is typically specifically endorsed to exclude professional liability and, even if it were extended to provide some coverage, it protects only for bodily injury & property damage; claims for things such as design failure or the owner’s lost revenue due to poor/improper design would not be covered.