Is this product the answer to your clients’ complex construction needs?

Is this product the answer to your clients’ complex construction needs?

Is this product the answer to your clients’ complex construction needs? The US construction insurance market is a complex space to compete in. State-specific legislation and various approaches to construction management can sometimes make placing liability and settling litigation a real headache. 

But there’s a new product on the block that might just make the lives of brokers in the construction insurance space a tad easier.

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Liberty Mutual and Ironshore have introduced an Integrated Primary Wrap Up/Project Specific program offering general liability (GL) and professional liability (PL) protection for medium and large construction projects developed through Design-Build or Integrated Project Delivery (IPD).

The new integrated solution was developed after consultations with US brokerages about challenges in the large construction markets and the difficulties posed by changing approaches to construction management.

Design-Build or Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) blur the traditional lines of responsibility found in the more standard Design-Big-Build approach, allowing contractors and designers to work closely together from the early design stage right the way throughout construction. The more traditional approach would keep the processes separate and the designer would hand blueprints over to a contractor to develop.

“The new integrated solution helps remove the potential gaps in coverage intrinsic to the design-build and integrated project delivery methods,” said Aldo Fucentese, vice president, National Insurance Specialty Construction. “The most challenging aspect of the marketplace was how we could blend GL with PL coverage under one form.

“We solved the problem by developing an endorsement – which is a fully-blown PL form – under a GL form. Blending the two forms together also allowed us to consolidate the claims adjusting process should a claim occur.”

Liberty Mutual is also offering GL and PL clash deductible for additional premium, which is “a truly unique feature,” according to Ben Beauvais, executive vice president, casualty & construction, Ironshore.

The more traditional approaches to construction management provoked a lot of finger-pointing between carriers and denial of fault at the point of claim – something brokers were often left to negotiate for their clients. With this streamlined product, the coverage is “seamless” and there’s only one insurer present to sort things out.
Beauvais added: “The design-builder’s PL exposures are related to the professional services assumed in the agreement with the owner and then subcontracted to design professionals on the project.

“The level of project risk that the design-builder undertakes, according to the contract agreement, may vary from very onerous to fair-and-equitable. The PL coverages and the included risk management services are tailored to provide an integrated solution to design-build contractors’ complex exposures.”

Brokers have given a warm reception to the product so far, according to Fucentese. He said Liberty Mutual’s new-product approach is to consult with the brokerage world, understand broker pain-points and find value-add solutions to address any issues.

“We are very excited about the product. It simplifies the task for the brokers and makes the process of adjusting claims much easier to manage,” he added. 

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