As a construction manager, it is your legal responsibility to ensure your team is meeting the expectations of your clients. Your workers are an extension of you, therefore their performance, positive or negative reflects on you. But are you also legally responsible for sub-contractors?
Unfortunately, most of the time you are.
Sub-contracting one or several aspects of a project was your decision, your client doesn’t mind how the work gets done, just as long as it gets done and gets done right. You are required to make sure that your sub-contractors are meeting code requirements, timelines and quality expectations. Similar to your workers, you can consider your sub-contractor an extension of you, their success or failures reflect on you. And ultimately, in the case of failure, it becomes your responsibility to absorb the repercussions.
If a sub-contractor misses a very important deadline and causes the project to be pushed back a few weeks, your client could hold you liable for the lost time and profit. They could potentially take legal action against you, looking for financial compensation. What can you do to protect yourself from these types of professional liability claims?
First and Foremost, any partnership that is made between you and a subcontractor should be confirmed with a contract, this contract should clearly state that the work being performed will meet certain criteria and if said criteria is not met, a penalty such as the contract is void and no payments shall be made, will apply. Your business lawyer will likely help you draw up a standard contract that you can use with your sub-contractors. Furthermore, it would be wise to put aside some funds that you can use in the event you are brought to court and forced to pay a settlement. Another useful protection measure would be purchasing insurance coverage, such as a professional liability insurance policy, that will help pay the legal and potential settlement fees associated with a professional liability lawsuit.
Most contractors have a general liability insurance policy, which will provide assistance if an accident occurs on the job site. However, the protection does not extend to claims made regarding the quality, craftsmanship or timeliness of your work, which would be covered under a professional liability insurance policy. To cover yourself in the event that an error or omission is made on a project by one of your workers or sub-contractors, you must be insured with a contractors professional liability insurance policy from EasyCover. EasyCover enables you to request a free professional liability insurance quote and purchase insurance coverage online easily and within minutes. No waiting, no hassles, fast, effective insurance coverage available at your fingertips. You can also speak to one of our licensed insurance brokers by calling us toll free at 844-439-2683 or by using our live chat during regular business hours, MST time, Monday through Friday.