Environmental & Construction Professional Exposure Claim Scenarios You Need to Know About

This blog post will cover common scenarios and offer insights to help advisors recommend appropriate coverage for their clients. Staying informed can aid in protecting clients’ businesses from potential claims related to environmental and construction professional exposure. Gain critical insights by reading this post.


A GC under a design-build contract hired an HVAC subcontractor to design and install an HVAC system for a residential apartment project. Once completed and occupied, the apartment units began developing mold, and residents began complaining of respiratory problems, headaches, and other physical ailments. An error in the HVAC design plans caused significant condensation in the system resulting in mold generation. The GC’s legal costs, remediation costs, as well as costs for bodily injury claims to rectify the problem caused by the design error were over $1,000,000. Neither the GC nor the subcontractor carried professional liability coverage. The subcontractor declared bankruptcy, leaving the GC to pay all the associated damages.


A CM for a bridge replacement project was responsible for scheduling the procurement and delivery of steel beams necessary for the project. Due to a communication error, the delivery of the beams was going to be delayed for 4 weeks. Rather than have the steel subcontractor sit idle on the job site, the CM procured steel beams from another vendor with minimal delay, although at a higher cost. The owner claimed against the CM for professional negligence, alleging project mismanagement, and sought payment for associated cost overruns of over $200,000.


A GC was hired to build an athletic field using plans from a civil engineer retained by the owner to complete a preliminary design. The GC hired the civil engineer under a design-build contract at the owner’s insistence. After the field was constructed, it was determined that the completed design was flawed, and there was a significant drainage problem causing the field to be unusable. The owner filed a lawsuit against the GC, and the GC initiated a subrogation action against the civil engineer. The cost to repair the field at an accelerated schedule to minimize the owner’s business interruption costs were in excess of $400,000. The GC’s legal costs were in excess of $50,000.


A roofing contractor was hired to design and install the roof of a new office building, including a solar panel array. The design was performed in-house by a licensed PE employed by the contractor. After the building was complete, the roof collapsed during an ice storm. The PE failed to consider the appropriate load factors in the design specifications associated with regional weather events. The costs to defend the contractor, repair the roof, and pay the associated property damage claims were in excess of $650,000.


A specialty concrete contractor under a design-build contract for a parking garage hired an engineering firm to provide the structural specifications. Following construction, the garage owner noticed cracks in the support columns. The cause was determined to be that the rebar specified in the engineering plan was insufficient to support the structure. The cost to replace the rebar with appropriate materials was over $140,000. As the contractor hired the engineering firm under a design-build contract, the owner filed a lawsuit against the contractor for the repairs and resulting business interruption losses.


A heavy highway and bridge contractor was hired to build an elevated highway. The contractor hired an engineer to design the temporary support structures (falsework) to support the permanent structure until the highway was completed. A design flaw in the falsework caused a partial collapse of the highway resulting in property damage to a subcontractor’s equipment and project delays. The costs to repair the highway and pay the associated property damage and delay were over $550,000.


A general contractor (GC) hired a specialty contractor to design and build a retaining wall for commercial development. The GC was responsible for the initial site development and infrastructure. Upon completion, the building developed cracks in both the walls and floors. It was determined that the design of the retaining wall was insufficient, resulting in soil movement and subsidence, which caused the cracks. The cost to defend the GC and repair the retaining wall and building cracks was over $150,000 after contribution from the contractor’s insurance coverage which was limited to $250,000.


Distinguished’s Environmental & Construction Professional team of underwriters, engineers, geologists, environmental scientists, and insurance professionals have over 300 years of combined environmental and insurance-related experience to provide solutions tailored to protect your business from its unique environmental exposures. Using a customer-focused approach and state-of-the-art systems enables us to provide you with a full suite of products to provide coverage for fixed facilities, contracting services, and professional liability with both primary and excess capabilities.


For more claims scenarios on contractor pollution insurance, visit the Resources section of our website.

For additional information, please get in touch with Douglas Stepenosky at dstepenosky@distinguished.com or submit an inquiry here, and we will be in touch to discuss this program.


📥 Download the Essential Environmental & Construction Professional Exposure Claim Scenarios You Should Know by clicking here.

About Distinguished Programs

Distinguished Programs is a leading national insurance Program Manager providing specialized insurance programs to brokers and agents with specific expertise in Fine Art and Collectibles, Environmental and Construction Professional, Executive Lines, Inland Marine, Real Estate & Builder’s Risk, Community Associations, Hotels, and Restaurants. Property and Liability products are distributed through a national network of agents and brokers. Serving the same core markets and partnering with the most stable and reputable carriers, Distinguished’s high-limit Umbrella programs remain the clear choice in its area of specialty for superior coverage, competitive pricing, and attentive service. Through thoughtful innovation, stemming back to 1995, Distinguished Programs fosters growth and opportunities for its brokers, carriers, and employees.

View a full list of our programs and submit business with Distinguished.

‣ Register Your Agency
‣ Learn More
‣ Contact Us

New call-to-action