Articles Posted in Additional Insureds

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We put lights on the front of trains so we can see them approaching in a tunnel. And we buy insurance for the accidents that occur despite such precautions. General contractors try to manage their project risks by taking precautions to avoid accidents, but they also require subcontractors to name them as “additional insureds” on their general liability or project-specific insurance should an accident happen. Suppose you’ve done that. An accident follows: Your subcontractor injures a person on the project site as a result of your own workers’ failure to warn. You’re covered, right? Better slow down.

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An all-too-common problem in the construction industry occurs when a company that is supposed to name another company as an additional insured on its policy fails to do so. The company that expects to be an additional insured (typically an owner or upstream contractor) sometimes does not follow through to ensure that it is actually added to the policy through an endorsement, or may rely on a Certificate of Insurance, which is not proof of coverage.

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In 1173, builders broke ground in Pisa, Italy, on the Torre de Pisa (that is, the Tower of Pisa). At over 183 feet, it was to be a grand statement—remember, this was 1173, not 2016.

Torre Inclinada de Pisa

But the story is not all roses. The tower began immediately to tilt—by the time they started laying just the second floor of the tower, it was leaning. Thus, it earned the name we all now know (and love?), “Torre pendent di Pisa”—the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Wikipedia explains, “[t]he tower’s tilt began during construction, caused by an inadequate foundation on ground too soft on one side to properly support the structure’s weight. The tilt increased in the decades before the structure was completed, and gradually increased until the structure was stabilized (and the tilt partially corrected) by efforts in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.” The tower now leans over 12 feet from the vertical axis.

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What a difference a word makes! Today’s words are “the,” “an,” “any,” and especially “you.”

Most Commercial General Liability policies include a coverage enhancement known as a “separation of insureds” or “severability of interests” clause. This clause states that the policy’s coverage is to apply “separately” to each insured against whom a claim is made. When reviewing coverage for a CGL claim in which more than one insured is involved, it’s vital to consider the separation of insureds provision. This clause is too frequently overlooked. Continue reading →

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Certificates of insurance (a.k.a COIs) are used in contract relationships all the time. COIs give details of the insurance policies held by a contracting party as of a certain date.  They usually include information such as the policy number, the name of the insurance company, the type of insurance, the limits of liability, theMagnifying-contract name of the policyholder, and a list of any additional insureds.  While the information in COIs may be important for you to understand when you are entering into a contract, what may be even more important for you to understand are their limits. Continue reading →