Building site insurance failing to pay out on a claim

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:42 pm   Post subject: Building site insurance failing to pay out on a claim  

Dear Community,



We have a problem in that the site insurance on a building site is failing to pay out against an injury claim, so now the injured party is looking to settle directly with the landlord of the building.



Is it a common occurrence for insurers to duck these claims in this way? It seems very unlikely that a good architecture firm would not have the correct insurance (indeed, I believe that it is impossible to be awarded a construction license without such insurance). Do we need to sue the insurance firm to find out??



Please advise!



A


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:00 pm   Post subject:   

Not knowing the details of the injury, it's hard to say. Is it possible that the injury happened off-site, in which case the insurer would be within their right not to pay?



Did the injury happen to a worker or a visitor to the site? If the injury is to a worker, it is a Worker's comp claim, not a general liability claim, and the worker's employer is liable for their injuries. If a visitor to the site is injured, then a project's general liability policy may be the proper instrument to cover the loss. But if the visitor's injury was caused by a contractor's employee, then the employer's liability coverage under a Workers' comp policy may be the coverage that applies.



A third-party over action against the landlord is possible if the landlord's negligence is directly responsible for a loss -- such as a worker who is injured when a septic tank collapses under the weight of a tractor, and the landlord failed to disclose to anyone the presence of the tank.



And if the coverage is a "builder's risk" policy, then it would not apply at all. That's for damage to the unfinished structure, theft of materials or tools, etc., not injuries to workers or visitors.



Too many unexplained details to be able to provide a better answer.



Quote:
a good architecture firm would not have the correct insurance




Now I'm really confused. What does an architecture firm have to do with construction of a building? Architects design buildings, they don't construct them. Architects have (or should have) professional liability insurance in case the building they design fails to remain standing according to their plans.



But that won't cover injuries to employees of other contractors on the job unless the architect bears some negligence liability.



So you'll need to be a bit more specific as to the type of injury and the type of policy.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:47 pm   Post subject: Duration of lien over property  

Thank you. That was helpful nonetheless. Do you happen to know how long a lien that is placed over a property lasts - for example claiming for unpaid labour - before a builder is obliged to follow through with a lawsuit? In this instance cost consultants have all found against the builder, but we would still like to know the duration of the lien.

Many thanks,

Toby


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:26 pm   Post subject:   

A lien can exist in perpetuity. It is evidence of an debt owed. There is no need for the person who placed the lien to seek enforcement by the courts, because they effectively have a hold on the transfer of title to the property from the present owner to anyone else. Without the lien release, assuming the lienholder is still living, clear title will be a problem.



State laws may require the lien to be affirmed (renewed) periodically (such as every 10 years). You'd have to verify that by researching the law in your state.



Claims for unpaid wages may be governed under different laws, but essentially a subcontractor can place a lien on the property for having not been paid by the principal contractor. In California, that normally requires a Preliminary Lien Notice to be filed against both the contractor and the property owner. But the lien itself is recorded against the property.



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