Even though the professional liability marketplace has expanded somewhat over the past few years, and in 2008 we will definitely see rate decreases, most of this news resides with practice or corporate programs. When it comes to insuring professional liability on a project-specific basis, construction project owners still have few alternatives.
When managing the environmental liability of a construction project, the direction tends to focus on pollution conditions resulting from project activities, errors and/or omissions of the general contractor, subcontractors or the architect and engineer. Environmental claims,
however, can also arise from other scenarios such as the discovery of unknown pre-existing conditions at a site being redeveloped, or from third parties alleging bodily injury and/or property damage. These third parties could be tenants in a building undergoing renovation or from neighboring property owners living or working adjacent to a Brownfield site.
In 2002, I wrote "Mold Is Gold: Or Is It?" for CFMA Building Profits. My work was prompted by headlines touting mold as a golden opportunity for inspectors, consultants, and remediators - not to mention civil attorneys.
During the past several years, mold has spawned an entire cottage industry. But, is mold really the tort risk that contractors and their insurance companies once feared?
Identifying exposures is the first step to managing environmental risk.
Over the past 10 years, construction firms are increasingly recognizing the environmental exposures that exist in their routine construction activities. When left unmanaged, these environmental exposures are time bombs that threaten the life of an organization. While more contractors are acknowledging this reality, few are acting to identify exposures and manage risks to ensure their continued longevity and profitability.