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Climate Change and The Impact on Construction Projects

On Behalf of | Sep 27, 2022 | Insurance Coverage Planning |

As we head toward the end of another summer, we have seen portions of Southern California hit hard by various weather events. Some cities struggled with high temperatures, while other locations dealt with numerous floods due to a rather active monsoon season. These extreme events have led to many changes in the way we live our lives, especially here in California.

Hotter weather and stronger storms mean that we may need to take a closer look at our infrastructure in the state. Many who work in the initial construction or remodeling of a building are considering the effects of climate change when performing their tasks on a project.

Constant change is the only thing that stays the same for many in the construction industry. For example, in the past, those who worked in heating and cooling would have certain standards that they would adhere to when completing their objectives. They would research the average temperature in a region and then calculate what would have to be installed to ensure that the building’s systems could keep up with the demands considering the anticipated warm and cold weather.

As temperature highs and lows increase, the stress on a building’s heating and cooling system will increase. Building filtration systems may also need to be considered as well, due to the increase in potential contaminates in outside air, such as smoke from wildfires. Contractors will need to adapt to these changes to ensure that the work they perform meets the needs of the business, as well as the laws and regulations of local jurisdictions.

Contractors and others involved in new construction or structural remodels should carry CGL coverage and, where applicable, professional liability coverage. In the HVAC example given above, the HVAC subcontractor should consider carrying professional liability coverage, as insurance carriers may sometimes view the HVAC subcontractor’s efforts to determine the correct system to be installed a professional service and associated liabilities for which more likely covered by a professional liability policy.

As extremes in weather become more pronounced, developers, design professionals, contractors and their subcontractors need to both examine their traditional methodologies used to complete their work, as well as the insurance programs that they may have in place, considering both their potential liability exposures in light of changing environmental conditions and possible ways in which their traditional insurance programs might be modified to afford them greater protection. Not sure if your current insurance program offers you full protection? Schedule a call with our team and we can help!