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Contractors Liability Insurance

Contractors Liability Insurance

A worksite is by its very nature often a dangerous place

. Despite the best precautions and regulations set in place by individual businesses and governmental bodies, an unfinished construction project is still inherently problematic when it comes to workers safety. It is for exactly this reason that most states require contractors liability insurance for contractors working within those states.

In essence, contractors liability insurance offers protection to the business owner against two types of problems that may arise from a lawsuit against his or her company. To begin with, insurance covers damages should they be awarded to a third party over possible injuries or damages for which the contractor has been deemed responsible. This includes loss of property claims.

Moreover, liability insurance will cover the expense of attorney fees, investigation costs, court fees and other legal expenses entailed during the course of litigation, should any occur. Considering how fast, and how high, these expenses can add up, a contractor operating without insurance could easily wind up in bankruptcy court simply to settle up the legal fees. The hard truth is, in fact, that these fees can easily skyrocket even in cases in which it is eventually determined that the contractor and his or her company is in no way at fault.

These two factors are the two key elements of any contractors liability insurance policy. Essentially, these two elements cover both payment of damages on the insureds behalf and all legal fees arising from the lawsuit and subsequent defense against it.

A contractor may find himself on the business end of a lawsuit for any number of reasons, but most arise from one of three broad classes of "legal wrongs." These are 1) crime, 2) breach of contract, and 3) tort. Each of these is addressed by different branches of the law.

Criminal acts on the part of the contractor may also give rise to civil cases further along in the legal process. Monetary awards are generally awarded as remedies. A typical example of this would be fraud, for instance, in which a contractor knowingly defrauds a client. While fraud involves criminal liability, it also can be addressed in civil court where the victim may sue for monetary damages.

In the case of these civil suits, the victim may sue not only for monetary damages, but for such esoteric, non-monetary reasons as punitive damages or emotional distress. In most courts, its all too easy for the costs for the contractor to add up all too quickly. Without liability insurance, a business owner can easily see a business he or she has built over the course of many years go under in a matter of weeks.

by: Sam Goldburg
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