Products and Completed Operations coverage gives a contractor coverage for bodily injury or property damage that is a direct result from their product or their completed work.
Contractors providing power washing, roof or window cleaning services should understand Completed Operations and how it can impact their business. Completed Operations coverage is an insurance product that covers the liability incurred by a contractor for property damage or injuries that may happen to a third party once contracted operations have ceased. Even though the operations are deemed to be “completed” by the contractor, the loss or injury is deemed to be a result of those operations. This raises the question….is a contractor’s work ever really done?
Examples of Completed Operations Coverage:
- A month after a roof wash is completed the shingles start to fade. The customer alleges that the contractor’s work was incorrectly performed. The ensuing claim would be filed under the Completed Operations liability coverage.
- A contractor power washes a sidewalk. After leaving the work site, someone comes along and slips on the wet sidewalk. Since the contractor has left the site, the claim would be filed under the Completed Operations liability coverage.
- A power washer cleans a wooden deck. Two weeks after that job, the contractor decides to cancel his insurance policy because he is approaching the “off season”. Three months after the deck was cleaned, the customer has a party and the deck collapses, injuring guests on the deck. Determination was made that something the contractor did when he washed the deck caused a problem with the structural integrity. There has to be coverage in force under an active policy when the injury or property damage occurs. This claim does NOT go back onto the policy that was in effect when the work was done. Even if the work completed was unlikely to cause the accident, the injured people will sue everyone involved and the contractor would, at the very least, have to defend against the suit.
Continuous Coverage Matters
The biggest assumption a contractor makes is thinking once a job is completed they are “off the hook”. In the real world, a claim can be made at any time and could be tied to a job completed 6 days, 4 months or 2 years ago. For this specific reason, it is critical to maintain uninterrupted coverage despite the seasonal swings contractors experience nationwide. Additionally, when a contractor cancels a policy, some carriers require the year’s premium be paid in full to rewrite coverage.
At Joseph D. Walters, education is critical in helping contractors understand the coverage they are buying and even more important….the coverage that is needed.
Talk with any of our experienced agents and get smarter about your insurance. Just call us at 1-800-878-3808 today!