A Reminder to Read the “Fine Print” in Insurance Policies

Ally D'Ovidio

By Don Walsh with WC & S

A tough lesson was learned by a General Contractor who did not check the insurance policy purchased by its subcontractor. Owners and contractors typically require firms they hire to have liability insurance and name them as additional insureds should they ever get sued for negligence of the subcontractor. In a recent court decision, Walsh Construction was hit with a claim for negligence on a highway project. Naturally, Walsh made a claim as an additional insured against the policy the responsible subcontractor. Although the subcontractor identified Walsh

Construction as an additional insured, Walsh failed to notice that the Zurich policy had a $500,000 self-insured retention. The court found that Walsh Construction had no greater rights against
Zurich than its subcontractor and Zurich had no obligation to defend or pay any claims until that $500,000 was first satisfied. Check those policies carefully.