Snow Plow Operators Beware

November 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized 

I had written a prior blog back in September about an important coverage gap on any MA contractors with a 2007 Commercial General Liability Policy.  I thought it was important enough to talk about it again, since the snow isn’t that far off. 

It’s that time of year to be thinking about snow.  For some of you, it means getting ready for snow plow season.  If you have a 2007 contractors general liability insurance policy, you should be aware of a potential coverage gap.

While you are plowing, your  MA commercial automobile policy will respond to any claims for bodily injury or property damage.  After you’ve finished plowing, your Massachusetts general liability policy will respond; this is called “completed operations” coverage.

Some carriers are now trying to exclude coverage for claims “after the plowing is complete,” even though the intent of the general liability policy is to cover those claims.  They reference exclusion g.  Exclusion g eliminates coverage for liability arising out of the use of autos.

The safest thing to do is to add CG 22 92 12 07 – Snow Plow Operations Coverage.  The endorsement says exclusion g does not apply to any auto used for snow plowing operations for bodily injury or property damage that falls within the products-completed operations hazard.

This information brought to you by Chris Sheppard of Smith Buckley & Hunt Insurance Agency, your Massachusetts insurance agent.

Contractors and the Excess & Surplus Lines Market

Every so often, we as brokers, must place certain coverages for our MA contractors in the Excess & Surplus (E&S) market.  Typically, it’s the general liability or umbrella liability coverage.  The reason(s) could be many and could include:

  1. Poor loss history in the standard market.
  2. Policy limits exceed what an admitted carrier is willing/able to provide.
  3. The standard carrier isn’t comfortable writing a specific coverage (pollution, EIFS, employment practices, for example).
  4. Brand new business.

These are just a few of the reasons why an insured might be in the E&S market.  A lot of companies are uncomfortable knowing they are in the E&S market, mainly because they’re unfamiliar with how it works, and because a lot of the carrier names are unfamiliar to them.

The E&S market is essential and one that we as agents rely on to get things done for us that no one else will.  It’s important for your agent to have a very good relationship with an E&S broker, because it’s that broker who has the direct relationship with the surplus lines carrier. 

That being said, because of how they operate, it’s of utmost importance to have your broker explain the coverage, exclusions and conditions, endorsements, and all of the terms; the devil is in the details. 

Some of the common areas of concern for Massachusetts subcontractors are the additional insured endorsements, limitation endorsements, and minimum earned premium conditions.  You should have your Massachusetts construction insurance agent explain the entire quote to you.  Don’t just sign the quote and put your head in the sand.

Next time your agent tells you the E&S market is your only alternative, don’t fret.  Do your homework and demand that your agent reviews EVERYTHING with you.

This information brought to you by Chris Sheppard of Smith Buckley & Hunt Insurance Agency, your Massachusetts construction insurance agent.

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