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Certificates of Insurance - Occurrence vs. Claim Made PDF Print E-mail
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Occurrence vs. Claim Made

Check to see that the occurrence form box is checked. If the claims make box is checked do not accept the certificate or allow the contractor on the job site. The description of difference between Claims Made and Occurrence coverage forms could take up 4 or 5 pages of this report. This is not the time or place to go into it. If you run into it, call to discuss. Check to see that the cert has the following:
  • Policy number - General Liability policy number must be completed.
  • Effective Date-Date must be completed.
  • Expiration Date-Date must be completed.
  • Limits-All limits must be completed.

Contractors Insurance Auto Liability

  • Any auto-Means any owned, rented, leased or borrowed auto. It includes hired, non-owned, newly acquired, replacement and temporary substitute autos.{2}
  • All Owned Autos- Means autos you own. (And for liability Coverage any "trailers" you don’t own while attached to power units you own). This includes those "autos" you acquire ownership after the policy begins.
  • Specifically Described "Autos"-Means only those "autos" described in item three of the declarations for which a premium is shown (And for liability for any trailers you don’t own while attached to any power unit described in item three)
  • Hired Autos- Means any auto that you hire, rent, lease or borrow from others, other than your employees or members of households.
  • Non-Owned Autos- Means Any auto that: you don’t own, hire, rent, lease borrow; and is used in the conduct of your business. It includes autos owned by your employees or partners or member of their households. But only while such autos are being used in the conduct of your business.
Why are these auto descriptions important?
When hiring sub contractors it is important because the subs are bringing their cars to your jobsite. If a sub drives onto the job site and causes an accident, the sub is responsible. But if the sub does not have auto insurance, the general contractor is next in line. Why? Because you hired him and he is on the job site working on your project. When hiring a sub you should require him to have auto insurance. The next step is to require the sub to have high limits of auto insurance, if you have $1,000,000 auto insurance so should the sub.

To fully protect your business, insist that the sub have "any auto" or owned auto coverage and Hired Auto and Non-owned Auto.

IT May seem that you are asking a lot from your sub, but that is what it takes to protect your business.

Always check that:
  • Policy number-Contractors Insurance Auto Liability policy number must be completed.
  • Effective Date-Date must be completed.
  • Expiration Date- Date must be completed.
  • Limits- All limits must be completed.

Excess Liability - Optional

  • Umbrella Form or other than umbrella form?
Sometimes you will have to give a certificate of insurance to a general contractor or ask a sub contractor to increase the limits of his general liability. There are two different ways of doing this. Most people think an Umbrella policy and Excess policy are one in the same but they are not.

Excess Policy- An excess policy is simple; you can add additional coverage to your contractors insurance general liability. You may have a $1,000,000 limit but you are required to have $3,000,000 for the project. An excess policy is written for the two additional million that you need.

Umbrella Policy- This is a little different, actually it is a lot different. You may be asked for $3,000,000 liability AND 3,000,000 auto liability also. In this case an umbrella is needed. Umbrella policies increase your general liability AND commercial auto insurance.

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