Builder's Risk Insurance: Specialized Coverage for Construction Projects

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Sheila E. Salvatore

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The Need For Rigging Coverage

It is not unusual for contractors to lift or move the property of others in the course of construction, erection or installation. To the extent that a builder’s risk policy covers damage to property in the care, custody or control of the contractor, or for which the contractor has assumed liability, some coverage may apply for this kind of activity — if, for example, the property is dropped and thereby damaged or destroyed.

An installation floater provides similar coverage. This floater is usually purchased by contractors to cover a single specialty such as plumbing, electrical or heating work. Unlike a builder’s risk policy, it encompasses all phases of the construction process.

Without this coverage for lifting and moving the property of others, a contractor would be without insurance, since a commercial general liability policy excludes personal property damage in the care, custody or control of the insured.

It is important to note that the foregoing is incidental coverage and not adequate protection for a company that is in the business of hoisting or moving property (a rigger) or in the business of hoisting or moving and installing property (a millwright). A rigger or millwright needs rigger’s insurance.

AAIS offers two forms for this coverage. One covers the direct physical damage to the property of others while in the insured’s care, custody or control for millwright or rigging operations, regardless of the insured’s negligence. The other, which is the more common type issued by insurers, requires that the insured be legally liable for the resulting damage.

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