Insurance requirements in commercial agreements and corresponding additional insured provisions in insurance policies are important tools to manage and transfer risks. However, far too often those efforts are thwarted by inattention and, in some cases, sloppiness. As exemplified by the disastrous outcome for the contracting parties in Cincinnati Insurance Company v. Vita Food Products, Inc., No. 13 C 05181 (E.D. Ill. January 30, 2015), there are many pitfalls to successfully transfer risk and secure additional insured coverage.
Continue Reading Harmonizing Risk Transfer: Avoiding Pitfalls With Additional Insured Provisions

A hypothetical: The roof of a parking garage that is part of a condominium development partially collapses, destroying landscaping over the collapsed section of the roof and the floors underneath the collapsed section. The roof had been fully installed and the parking garage was being used at the time of the collapse, but work continued on the landscaping and the condominium units. The cause of the collapse is traced to roof beams not strong enough to withstand the load of the landscaping. The design of the parking garage called for weaker roof beams. The roof beams cannot be replaced, and consequently the landscaping over the rest of the roof must be removed and replaced with lighter materials to prevent further collapses.

This hypothetical, which is not an outlandish scenario in the construction business, raises a myriad of coverage issues under several different types of policies, including first party property, builder’s risk, general liability and professional liability policies. The attorneys in Reed Smith’s Insurance Recovery Group have extensive experience advising policyholders and engaging in litigation regarding these types of coverage issues.Continue Reading Coverage For Construction Defects