サブコントラクター:一般的な事業慣行が、どのように多額の保険コストにつながり得るのか(英語版のみ)

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作成者 Rachel Soich |  2018年3月13日

公益事業会社には、大きな化学火傷による従業員の期限の定まらない入院から誤配線による致命的火災まで、目に見えない様々な巨大災害損失に苦しめられる可能性があります。この規模での想定外の請求は、会社の収益性に甚大な影響を与えます。しかし、大型損失に関わる伝統的な不確実性は、当事者が会社のサブコントラクターで適切な保険に入っていなかった場合には、さらに増大します。不注意なサブコントラクターは、会社にとって壊滅的な隠れた費用をもたらす可能性があります。保険非加入のサブコントラクターに関わるリスクとは何でしょうか?また、会社の利益を脅かしかねないこのようなリスクに対して何ができるでしょうか?

建設業や公益事業などの業界では、サブコントラクターが広く採用されています。彼らは商品やサービスの品質を確かなものにする専門知識を相対的に低いコストで提供するという恩恵を企業にもたらしますが、彼ら自身の業務と安全性に関する追加的責任リスクがあります。会社は、顕著な追加費用を回避するためにも、採用したサブコントラクターが自身の損失をまかなう保険契約を確実に保有してもらうようにしなくてはなりません。これがないと、会社の責任が増加したり、財務結果にマイナスの影響が発生する可能性があるためです。

Which coverages does your subcontractor need?

Your company should confirm hired subcontractors are covered by general liability, errors and omissions (E&O), and workers’ compensation insurance policies. General liability coverage protects subcontractors causing property damage or physical injuries to another person. E&O coverage provides protection for subcontractors’ oversights and mistakes in their professional services. Workers’ compensation coverage provides relief for costs associated with an injured subcontractor. For example, electrical subcontractors are regularly exposed to live wires and potentially unsafe construction sites, which can cause unexpected large losses.

Liability risk can be fully transferred to your subcontractors if they have their own insurance policies. You can add them to your company’s insurance plan, but that expanded coverage results in additional costs to cover employees not under your company’s immediate discipline. However, this decision for coverage can only be made if you are aware of your subcontractors’ insurance status.

What happens when a subcontractor is uninsured without your knowledge?

If your company inadvertently hires an uninsured subcontractor, your company could be blindsided with an additional insurance premium to cover those subcontractors, or worse, be on the hook for an unexpected catastrophic claim. Depending on your insurance policy’s language, that claim may not be covered by your insurer, leaving your company to foot the entire bill and threatening your bottom line.

Held in 44 states and the District of Columbia, a general contractor becomes legally liable if its subcontractor is uninsured and causes a loss.1 If your insurer discovers your subcontractor is uninsured, the insurer retains the right to charge additional premium to cover potential losses, even if your company was unaware. This has been supported in practice per the verdict of The Travelers Indemnity Company v. T&S Drywall Finishing Inc. The court upheld T&S’s obligation to pay the additional premiums when the insurer learned the company hired uninsured subcontractors.2 However, the insurer’s penalties may be the least of your company’s concerns if an uninsured subcontractor is seriously injured or causes significant harm on the job. In addition to the claim scenarios described above, there are endless circumstances that could lead to catastrophic claims. Even at the fault of your subcontractor, these catastrophic claims can become your company’s responsibility.3

Unforeseen disastrous claims can also drastically change your company’s loss history if you become responsible for a subcontractor’s loss. Loss history directly affects future insurance rates, so these losses can lead to unexpected inflated rates or even dropped policies. Dropped policies could cause future difficulties in finding affordable insurance or securing a policy at all. Even if there is no claim occurrence, your company can still suffer these same consequences because of your insurer’s exposure to uninsured subcontractor liability risk without the proper knowledge. Ultimately, protecting your company and your shareholders involves simple measures such as verifying your subcontractors’ insurance coverages or requiring proof of insurance. These risk management techniques can be the difference between profitable growth and insolvency.

1Workers’ Compensation – The General Contractor’s Responsibility. (August 1, 2008). Retrieved January 18, 2018, from https://www.mynewmarkets.com/articles/92397/workers-compensation-the-general-contractor-s-responsibility

2 Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Contractor Charged for Subcontractors’ Employees. Woods & Aitken LLP. Retrieved January 18, 2018, from https://www.woodsaitken.com/workers-compensation-insurance-contractor-charged-subcontractors-employees/

3 Subcontractors without Workers’ Compensation will cost you. (March 18, 2013). Retrieved January 18, 2018, from https://blog.nari.org/2013/03/18/subcontractors-without-workers-compensation-will-cost-you/