Sid's Secrets on Liability

Sid's Secrets on Liability

Sid Woryn, Master Trainer with Michigan Builders License and Continuing Competency, is back to talk about Liability.


Everyone wants to reduce Liability. But how? By having the proper insurance. Look at insurance from another viewpoint. He likes to look at insurance as sleep insurance. If he has proper insurance, he can sleep well at night.


We all know that accidents happen on a job site, but as long as you have insurance, you don't have to worry about being unable to handle that situation.


Liability insurance protects the property that you're working on from any accidents that you create for the homeowner, such as your ladder falling on the homeowner's car or you do damage to the house accidentally. Liability insurance will cover those costs. And most of you understand worker's comp. If we have employees, we must have worker's comp. If we hire subcontractors, we need copies from their insurance provider that show that they have liability insurance and worker's comp as well. But for those of you who are lone rangers, you work by yourself most of the time. Sometimes, you're going to hire a part-time person. If you're doing that type of situation, I would strongly urge you to get a worker's comp policy called, IF ANY.


The last time I checked, the premium was $750. That covers any claims from an injured worker. You know, for $750, that's pretty good protection for that accident that you didn't expect to happen to your part-time helper.


Let's talk about vehicle insurance. For those of you who have your employees drive their vehicles on the job site, be very careful of asking an employee to use their vehicle to do something that's job-related to you. Suppose they get in an accident doing something for you with their vehicle. In that case, their insurance company is going to find out about it and then go after your insurance company to recoup their losses, and you'll probably end up getting some sort of penalty.


Keyman insurance. This one has come up recently, and we need to address it. Keyman insurance does not allow a partnership to continue operating on the death of a partner. That's a fallacy. But what it does do is provide for financial redress to the existing partner or to their or to the family.


Also, this is not insurance, but it's required on the job site, and in my opinion, it acts somewhat as insurance by having your MIOSHA accident prevention program on the job site. If MIOSHA does show up and asks you to see your accident prevention program, that will reduce a fine by having it. If you don't have it, you can get a violation. Notice the accident prevention program requires Subs to do certain things as well, so in your sub-contractor agreements. Now, you should have something in there that says your subcontractor will comply with the building code, city ordinances, and MIOSHA requirements for the job site and that their employees have been trained in MIOSHA-related safety requirements pertaining to your job. The other thing you might want to add to your subcontract agreements is to make your subcontractor responsible for any fines or violations that you get as a GC because that can happen. MIOSHA can issue multiple violations not only to a subcontractor but also to the GC for allowing that stuff to do something unsafe. Now, it will still go on your record as a violation, but at least they're paying for the violation and not you. I hope this helps you out a little bit. Good luck out there.