Subcontractor’s Warranty Endorsement

Those who are contractors, construction companies, maintenance companies, or other companies that use subcontractors may encounter “Subcontractors’ Warranty Endorsement” on their Commercial General Liability policies. This endorsement requires contractors to obtain additional insured status on the CGL policy of their subcontractors and to make their policies secondary to their subcontractor’s. In addition, contractors may face significant consequences if they do not meet the endorsement’s requirements.

The language of the “Subcontractors’ Warranty Endorsement” can differ among insurance providers, but the main terms of an endorsement mostly remain the same. A subcontractor’s policy must list the contractor as an additional insured and as a requirement for coverage for any insured under this policy the insured must ensure that all subcontractors maintain Commercial General Liability insurance from a company with a “A” rating and minimum liability limits of  $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 general aggregate and  $2,000,000 products and completed operations aggregate. Additionally, the insured must be listed as an additional insured on all such subcontractors’ commercial general liability policies.

The endorsement may also require the contractor to secure an indemnity agreement from the subcontractor in addition to having additional insured status on the subcontractor’s policy.

Mandatory Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Contractors in California

The California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) has announced that starting January 1, 2023, certain licensed contractors must carry workers’ compensation insurance, regardless of whether they have employees. These contractors include those in the concrete (C-8), HVAC (C-20), asbestos abatement (C-22), and tree service (D-49) sectors. This new requirement is the result of Senate Bill 216, which was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on September 30, 2022. Additionally, the bill mandates that all contractors, including those without employees, must have workers’ compensation insurance by January 1, 2026. This type of insurance is required only for C-39 Roofing contractors, regardless of their employee count. The CSLB works to safeguard consumers and ensure fairness for contractors by requiring more of them to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Consumers can verify a contractor’s license status and insurance information on the CSLB website.


Loss Exposure of Contractors

Contractors are subject to some unique loss exposures. When a prospective client needs certain types of construction work done, contractors either bid for the job or negotiate a contract. Due to this, the customer specifies what should be done in the job specification. It is common for contracting businesses to have multiple locations. There are frequent changes to the job site. There may be a contractor who controls one job site while the employees or subcontractors control other job sites simultaneously or sequentially. As a contractor, you are exposed to a unique range of loss exposures. It is imperative for any contractor to evaluate and analyze their risks before obtaining contractors insurance.  

Insurance Loss Runs: How Do They Work?

An insurance loss run is a report that lists all claims made on a particular insurance policy over a specified period of time. Loss runs are typically requested by insurance underwriters when evaluating an insurance application or renewal, and they can also be used by policyholders to help identify trends or potential issues with their insurance coverage. Loss runs typically include information about the date and type of loss, the amount of the claim, and the status of the claim (e.g., open, closed, pending). They may also include details about the policyholder’s insurance coverage.

Depending on the number and type of open claims on your report, there will be a section with a reserve fund. An insurance company sets aside a certain amount to cover claims. Nevertheless, the final cost of a claim can vary from the set aside amount.

Insurance Premium Audit

Your insurer conducts a premium audit to become sure you have paid the proper premiums over the period of the policy for the insurance coverage you need.

By analyzing your company’s financial records, an insurance premium audit determines your actual risk exposure. Every year, your insurance company conducts an audit of your policy.  

Typically, when you start a new insurance policy, you estimate your business costs, payroll, and income.  Audits are performed by insurers or independent auditors at the end of policy periods to determine gross revenue and payroll data for individuals or businesses.

 Auditing an insurance policy should follow several best practices:

To ensure a successful audit, it is crucial to plan ahead and collect all the necessary documentation in advance. Organize your records and documents so the auditor can easily access them. Despite the possibility of higher premiums, be honest about the business’ operations and risk management practices. You should ask the auditor questions if you have any concerns or if something is unclear.

As a general rule, an insurance audit is conducted to ensure that the insurer has the right insurance premiums in place to protect against potential risks. In order to ensure a smooth and efficient audit, businesses should follow these best practices.

Sunset Clause aka Sunset Provision

A sunset clause on a liability policy is an endorsement that limits the coverage provided by the policy to a specific period of time, and can limit the reporting period of a claim. This means that if a policyholder is insured under a policy with a sunset clause and a claim is made for a loss that occurred during the policy period, but the claim is not reported until after the “sunset” date, the policy will not provide coverage for that claim.

For contractors, a sunset clause on a liability policy can be particularly problematic as construction projects can be complex and claims may not be discovered until long after the project is completed. For example, a defect in the construction work may not be discovered until several months or even years after the project is completed.

Therefore, contractors should approach a policy with a sunset clause with caution, and consider the potential risks and liabilities of the project before purchasing a policy. They should also consider purchasing an extended reporting period (ERP) or “tail coverage” option to provide coverage for claims that may arise after the policy period but were not reported during the policy period.

It’s important for contractors to discuss the sunset clause and ERP options with their insurance professional to ensure that they have the right coverage for their business. They should also carefully review the terms, conditions and exclusions of their insurance policy to understand the scope of coverage and any limitations.

State and Subdivision Permit Endorsement

A state and subdivision permit endorsement is a type of endorsement that can be added to an insurance policy to provide coverage for certain permits and licenses that are required by state and local governments. These permits and licenses can include building permits, zoning permits, and other types of approvals that are required for construction or other business activities.

The state and subdivision permit endorsement covers the cost of obtaining and maintaining the required permits and licenses, as well as any legal fees or fines that may be incurred as a result of violations of these permits and licenses. This endorsement is typically available for businesses that are involved in construction or other activities that require a significant number of permits and licenses from state and local governments.

By adding a state and subdivision permit endorsement to their insurance policy, businesses can protect themselves from the financial impact of obtaining and maintaining the required permits and licenses. This can help businesses to avoid delays and disruptions to their operations caused by issues related to permits and licenses.