Risk in compliance ?

According to Snow Magazine's Matt Peterson, insurance compliance for subcontractors with respect to liability will be a major theme for Winter 2016–17.

Say it with me: “We are in compliance?” That’s right, shout it out!

We are not talking about a philosophical right or wrong because compliance has no moral compass, and it will not go to church on Sunday. Although, that is between compliance and The Lord. However, compliance will do its job. Compliance should work to achieve full vertical risk transfer, if those are the expectations the client and you agreed upon.

Compliance will be a very important theme that reoccurs with respect to insurance this season, and we are confident that ASCA members are at the top of their game because none of this should be new. Now keep in mind, failure to do so will earn you very little forgiveness when you are being assimilated into the statistics of claims or uncovered losses. So beware.

Insurance requirements
Contract management between you and your client in reference to “your work” will continue to take center stage. The only thing more important is documentation and demonstrating to the whole world that you know how to prove what services you perform or don’t. I cannot begin to stress how important this is to snow and ice management professionals and the property owners that hire them.

Claims management

This begins prior to a claim ever happening. In fact, it’s so important that I should trademark that phrase because you can’t repeat it enough to your foremen and staff in your preseason snow meetings. But I won’t, we as a team are a collective well and the well is deep. Following the industry standards according to the ASCA is a good start, re-read the ASCA preseason site inspection portion along with the section on in-event documentation. Together they comprise a nice refresher. When and if a claim occurs, be pro-active and send all of your good documentation in to the claims adjuster.

If you are using subcontractors, then you will need to touch, feel and smell the insurance related requirements in the subcontractor agreement that they are obligated to meet — the sub agreement that they are signing with you. Make room for any agreements that would allow your compliance department to see the actual insurance forms and wording of those forms for which your subcontractor has within his snow general liability policy. If your company has ever had issues with obtaining the correct general liability, then it’s not hard to imagine that your subcontractors may have had the same dirty little problems. Educate those who work on your sites earlier and about the topics we are talking about here.

Insurance compliance
Insurance compliance should be viewed up and down. This means going over the contract details with your client about “your work” or “your ongoing operations” or “your completed operations.” For example, your insurance requirements are X,Y & Z. Therefore, anyone who works on your sites must have equal to or better limits than you. This includes policy endorsement, additional-insured endorsements and CG2292 on the GL policy, no contractual limitation such the horrible CG2139 on the GL, and should be rated for snow removal operations or classification 99310 among other important items.

Of course, those working for you should also have the correct additional-insured forms if they are required to do so from your client.