It’s a regular occurrence for contractors: You receive a request from another party (an owner, general contractor, lien holder, other contractor, or a government entity) to add them as an additional insured on your insurance policies. Whether that’s a good idea is up to you — but the party often makes it clear that if you want to do business you’ll need to add them as an additional insured.
However, it’s not necessarily a good idea to add this entity to all of your policies. For example, your Excess Liability coverages — such as those under Umbrella insurance — were probably bought specifically for your own protection in case of catastrophic loss. If an additional insured, who might be well within their rights, is added to your policies with protection up to your basic coverage limits, will they also be allowed to “piggyback” up to the full amount of your coverage?
We’d advise you not to set up any procedure that makes all of your coverage limits available automatically to any additional insured. Add them to the specific coverages and amounts that they request, but go no further. If in doubt, consult with your attorney about contractual requirements and possible gaps between what the entity is requesting in being added to your coverage and what your coverage will actually provide.
Once you’re certain what you’re being asked to do, and have decided that it’s in your best interest to meet this request, there’s one more action to take before adding the additional party to your coverages. Contact us to determine if your current coverage already meets the needed conditions, or what modifications (if any) might be required to do so.
Remember: Although we want to help you meet your needs, our focus always remains on protecting you, even if against unreasonable demands from other entities. We’re here to help.