Expert Insights on Construction Pollution & Professional Insurance

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Get the Environmental Insurance session handouts here:

Transcript & FAQ

Video Recording


Claims Scenarios

Below are additional attendee questions we could not address during the session.

Are these shared limits in a program?

We can share limits in one program or to offer separate limits for pollution coverage and a separate limit for professional coverage. This can be completed on one form, our combined CPPL form.

Does it include or can it include coverage for faulty workmanship

We have a limited ability to cover faulty workmanship on our policy. We have an endorsement that we can add, which provides a $250K sub-limit for the contractor’s workmanship coverage when the contractor is manufacturing or fabricating the material(s), such as asphalt, concrete, and ductwork.

Does your CPL/CPPI provide coverage for contractors working from a watercraft?

We do not have restrictions specific to working from a watercraft.

Is there a specific app you need to quote?

We have a CPPL combined form application and a Project-Specific Professional application. If you would like the CPL application, please let us know. We can utilize professional and pollution applications from other carriers. If these applications provide the necessary information, we can also proceed with binding coverage from them. We strive to be considerate of contractors’ preferences to avoid filling out excessive forms.

Would a GC need PL if the owner hired the architect directly?

Regarding GCs, there are a few different professional exposures for GCs, such as value engineering, constructability reviews, or field changes to the design., Another large exposure is the vicarious liability when the GC hires trade contractors who may perform their own designs. Because the GC hired the trade contractor, they are responsible and will likely be brought into a claim with their subcontractor.

What paper are you using?

We write on SiriusPoint paper with over $2.9 billion total capital. SiriusPoint’s operating companies have a financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) XV from AM Best.

Is there an appetite for marine contractors?

We have entertained sea wall contractors and have written some levee construction projects but typically, we offer coverage on a project basis and not as an annual renewable project policy.

Why would an owner need PL?

Owners buy PL when they are concerned that the limits of the design professional/ design build contractors/ construction managers may not be adequate enough to protect the owner from a professional error on the project. Here is a recent OPPI claim that we came across in a submission we were reviewing:

An Owner of a large apartment complex hired a geotechnical firm. The geotechnical firm had an error in their investigation/reporting at the site. This error caused issues with the concrete and the subsequent building stability. The cost to remedy the problem was well more than the $1M professional policy the Geotech had in place. Their OPPI policy paid the excess of that $1M.

If an owner hires a Design-Build contractor with an inaccurate design, the design professional may not have adequate insurance. This could happen if the owner hires trades who do their own design, such as fire sprinklers, HVAC, plumbing, etc.

Can you provide some Professional Claim Examples for Home Developers?

The ones that stand out are the Roofing Contractor claim, General Contractor, Concrete Contractor, and Specialty Contractor. We also see numerous Surveying error claims with the development not mentioned on this sheet.

Here at Distinguished, we have not historically provided professional coverage for homebuilders. However, we have been looking at our OPPI product for smaller to medium-sized homebuilders. When the homebuilder hires an architect or engineer, the OPPI policy would sit more than and DIC of that architect or engineer’s insurance. We recently reviewed an account with large claims because the Geotech reports were not accurate, which caused a major settlement in the concrete slabs. The Geotech design professional only carried $1M in professional limits. The claim was much larger than that — the OPPI policy responded to that claim with an excess of the Geotech insurance.

We don’t offer professional coverage for the real estate and development exposures some Developers may have – our professional is specific to construction design.

📚 Suggested Reading: Environmental & Construction Professional Exposure Claim Scenarios You Need To Know About

In conclusion, industry professionals must understand the intricacies of construction pollution and professional insurance. You can safeguard your business, reputation, and the environment by staying informed about the potential environmental risks and liability exposure associated with construction projects and the available insurance options.

Expert Panel:

Shelli Hamilton, Senior Vice President, National Practice Leader

Shelli serves as Senior Vice President at Distinguished (formerly SiriusPoint), where she is responsible for the strategy, underwriting, and profitability of the OPPI product and, more broadly, across Sirius’ other environmental products. In addition, she is the Construction Team Manager responsible for managing the Services related underwriters. Shelli has over 25 years of sales and underwriting experience in the environmental and professional insurance industries and a strong reputation within the agent and broker community.

Before joining SiriusPoint (now Distinguished), Shelli worked for The Hartford and Great American Insurance Group. Shelli held management positions at each company, including direct responsibility for starting up a new environmental division at the Hartford. Shelli managed various teams and provided product line expertise and referral responsibility for contractor’s pollution and professional coverages.

Earlier in her career, Shelli held roles of increasing responsibility at XL Insurance, including Assistance Vice President – Senior Underwriter. She was a top producer actively involved with product development, product enhancement, and training/mentorship of other underwriters. Additionally, Shelli holds certifications as a Registered Professional Liability Underwriter and a Charted Property Casualty Underwriter.

Drew Linton, Vice President, Senior Underwriter

Drew has over 20 years of environmental underwriting and consulting experience and joined SiriusPoint (now Distinguished) in June 2017 from Great American Insurance Group, where he was a Master Underwriter. Drew managed a profitable book of business at Great American, including premises pollution liability, contractor’s pollution liability, and contractor’s pollution and professional liability in the eastern and southeastern United States. Drew held leadership and management roles at consulting firms, including Senior Project Manager at Kleinfelder, Inc. in Hamilton, New Jersey, Associate Geologist at Stantec Consulting Corporation in Westchester, Pennsylvania, and Senior Hydrogeologist at Leggette, Brashears & Graham, Inc. in Shelton, Connecticut. Drew was also the Licensed Site Remediation Professional of record for various sites in New Jersey while working at Kleinfelder, Inc. Drew earned a Bachelor of Science in Geoscience and Political Science from Hobart College in 2000. Drew has both a CT Resident Producer and Surplus Lines license.

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.

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