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unexpected contractual implications-anyboby else ever have esq prereead there policy

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by sidelinellc, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. sidelinellc

    sidelinellc Junior Member
    from 06093
    Messages: 8

    long post-apologize :confused: (ct. subcontractor with bobcats/plow truck)
    I have been running as a sub working in various condo complex for the past ten years, for a larger company. I have Arlington insurance. Recently the company i plow for mandated a liability and damage contract they produced a a requirement of employment as a sub.

    Long story short, I'm not a lawyer, but was smart enough to hire one that specializes in insurance language to review the proposed contract and my current insurance.

    As it turns out, it would be unwise to sign the contract as it would adversely effect my insurance, basically making it invalid. (shall not assume any contractual liability)-breach of contract
    Further more, the contract would have held myself solely responsible for any and all presumed damages at the complex i do work at even though i wouldn't be the only sub there.
    Apparently, the company I sub for insurer mandated this.
    Currently at a cross roads rite now. Has this happen to anyone in the past and how did you handle it. Thinking it may be time to hang it up.
    thank you in advance
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
  2. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Sounds like the company you subbed for is taking a few pointers from these nationals..... cya
  3. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,218

    Sub for a different company
  4. sidelinellc

    sidelinellc Junior Member
    from 06093
    Messages: 8

    Subing for another company really is a mute point. From what I've gathered talking with different subs in ct, this is new this year and a pretty common unrecognized issue this season. I believe it's do the insurance companies taking a bath last year and are looking for a way out.

    I'm under the impression that it's not just me in this situation but perhaps others who have signed similar contracts with unknown implications to there current insurance policies. A lawyer, not an insurance agent, is the person that deciphers the complex language and exemption clauses in insurance contracts and sub-contracts.
    In my situation, the agent didn't recognize an issue and i will not signing anything until i fully understand all the implications of such agreements.
  5. lbfmd

    lbfmd Member
    Messages: 48


    imo its something thats going to be coming down the pipe. We just went through this with Waiver of Subrogations request. Or Ins Co. who last year had no issues sent out a letter effective Nov 1. that they will not grant these unless they see a copy of the contract and agree to it on a case by case. When i questioned the underwriter, they basically said that they had a substantial amount of claims the last few years because of contract language and they were now reviewing every single request, anything with a holdharmless or the likes they will not approve. Pretty crappy but she said that we would be seeing more and more of it.

    I think you have the best advice have your lawyer review anything because if everything is being dumped on small contractors from nationals, regionals, larger outfits and Ins Co dont cover it the crap is gonna hit the fan.
  6. Laszlo Almasi

    Laszlo Almasi Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    I actually turned down a contract from a National Company (Ferrandino & Son) in part for a clause in the contract that stated I would be responsible for damages. It was too open to interpretation and it could leave me responsible for something I or one of my guys did not do. Granted they also do not want to pay what the job is worth but if I could have gotten in the door with more potential I might have been more interested.

    Bottom line is be very leary of any and all contracts. Read them thoroughly and if you want to make sure, have an attorney read it and give you their take on it. A contract that essentially holds you responsible for almost everything is not worth the job...especially if there are no clauses in it that help protect you as well.
  7. Winterized

    Winterized Senior Member
    Messages: 120

    Not plowing or lawn care.... but I did work for several years as an independent contractor for a big motel next door to Mall Of America. Always went well... never any problems.

    It was sold to a chain, and after the first job with the new management I got four pages of blah-blah about insurance and liability and blah-blah this and that. Made no sense as they were in violation of many of their points anyway!!!

    Wrote a nice letter back saying sorry could not comply, would be better with someone else. Problems all went away for me. Life is short and misery is optional.
  8. snow patrol

    snow patrol Senior Member
    Messages: 163

  9. jklawn&Plow

    jklawn&Plow Senior Member
    Messages: 469

    Words to live by. So if you want the responsibility don't yield to Management. Get layed off and Plow Snow, be the BOSS.
  10. sidelinellc

    sidelinellc Junior Member
    from 06093
    Messages: 8


    I started this thread last year and wanted to revisit it with any updates from you guys and add mine.
    .After much thought and legal discussions this summer with insurance carriers, insurance commissioners and people that deal with the contractual liability end of the system, i came to the realization that the risk and liability just wasn't' worth it for me.

    Subrogation contract- by signing a contract as a sub working for another buisness, your insurance asumes all liability. This 100% makes your insurance null and void. The liability will fall on yourself as if you were working without insurance.

    Also to add, after many years with my carrier with no claims or incidents, my carrier refused to renew me this year. This was in part to bringing light on the subjugation contract end of things i believe. probably for the better.Thumbs Up

    I'm curious to no, since this thread generated useful discussion, has any one else realized that there insurance is null and void if they assume liability by signing a contract as a sub. And, if so, how did they deal with it?
    Second, have any subs had negative issues arise from signing a subjugation contract after informing there Carrier.
    Thanks guys and good luck this winter season.
  11. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,218

    I said that in post #3. Can you just not sub and plow for yourself? Or am I not understanding something here about your insurance ?

    The way I see it, your insurance company does not want to cover you because you sub and would be responsible for all liability even though the end customer is really not your client.
  12. fireside

    fireside Senior Member
    Messages: 726

    This issue comes down to third party liablity. I ran into this last year with a contract. Don't sign the contract. You will own it all as will all other companies subbing on that acccount 100 percent. REal good idea if you are the company hiring the subs seat back due nothing hold no liablity and get paid on top of it for what!!
    the only way to stop this is get a state law passed to stop it!! Just like simular laws in some states that limit slip and fall liablity
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  13. sidelinellc

    sidelinellc Junior Member
    from 06093
    Messages: 8

    I'm in the northeast, ct to be clear. Within the past three years it's become common for this type of situation regarding insurance as i described in detail above.
    Also, the main income for the smaller businesses is usually acquired by working as sub. Basically, the money is with the bigger companies who hire the subs. That's just how it works here.

    For me , i rather be siting on the sidelines then trying to chase money being on my own while constantly being undercuts by the big boys and the non insured guys.
    Yes, the large companies have/are scooping up all the work here, especially smaller jobs. Even residential driveways if that tells you anything...

    As you can read, I'm not complaining, just wanted to share the info so some unlucky business doesn't loose there assets by an issue they may not understand or even recognize.
    The insurance issue described above with regards to signing a contract, doesn't jump out at you. Insurance brokers many use aren't required to explain this and most won't or explain it wrong, wich is what started this whole insurance investigation a year ago

    Most likely you won't realize you just lost everything due to a signature until it's to late.
    Question everything when it comes to being insured.
  14. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge PlowSite Veteran
    from NJ
    Messages: 3,699

    My insurance policy is exactly the same.

    If I plow for someone else, and I sign a waiver to accept all responsibility, my own insurance policy is null and void.

    Makes perfect sense to me, as by placing myself in the shoes of the insurance company, why would I allow someone I was insuring accept all responsibility for claims that another insurance policy (the lead contractor) should be covering as a primary claims source ? As long as the primary contractor's insurance takes the main hit, and my insurance is tapped secondarily, then it's still in effect, otherwise, it's personally on me.

    I've come across these contracts before, and they just go in the paper shredder.
  15. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,218

    Now I am understanding the situation.