Construction Case Study10/07/2018
A client of ours was carrying out some drainage repairs as part of their contract when one of their engineers hit a pipe whilst excavating causing the street to flood.
Our client called us to put the claim in, we reported this to their insurers and their insurers had the following condition regarding underground services on their policy which our client had agreed to at inception of the policy;
‘It is a condition precedent to any liability in respect of Damage to pipes, cables, mains or other underground services arising out of or caused by digging, drilling, boring, excavation, or earth moving operations, that:
A. The Insured shall prior to the commencement of such work
I. have made enquiries with the owner or relevant authority responsible as to the location of existing pipes, cables, mains or other underground services and shall have received written confirmation or have confirmed any conversation in writing
II. carry out investigation using remote electrical devices to locate existing pipes, cables, mains or other underground services where practicable
III. convey the location of such pipes, cables, mains and underground services to those Employees or contractors carrying out such work on behalf of the Insured
B. The Insured shall adopt or cause to be adopted a method of work which minimises the risk of Damage to pipes, cables, mains and other underground services
C. the Insured shall retain a full written record of the enquiries and measures taken to locate and minimise the risk of Damage to such pipes cables mains and other underground services.’
After putting the claim through and reviewing this with our client, it transpired that our client had not adhered fully to the condition above which then meant despite our efforts, the insurers were not willing to pay the claim, which would have resulted in a large loss of money for our client directly.
To resolve this, we were able to get the full circumstances of the precautions taken by our insured prior to digging and convey this positively to insurers. We were able to get the Insurer to agree the pay for this loss and then we were able to get the policy condition amended for this client so that it matched their working practices.
We were able to bespoke the policy wording to our client’s work practices, meaning that the cover now worked around them, rather than them trying to work around their cover. They were now fully protected with peace of mind that they could carry on with their business without having to make changes to their activities in order to adhere to their insurance policy. We changed the policy to suit their requirements, which is something which we are able to do in a multitude of scenarios and emphasises our “client first” approach to handling and arranging insurance for contractors.