Risk & Insurance Solutions for Restorers with Virus Decontamination Projects

Working in cooperation, the two leading organizations representing restoration contractors have released; The Covid-19 Pandemic: A Report for professional cleaning and restoration contractors, third edition May 28th, 2020. This report is effectively a risk management protocol for virus decontamination work.  

The document provides useful advice to the property owners and restoration firms alike.

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Risk Management Tips For Restorers Going out on the Field to Conduct Virus Decontamination Work

Managing the COVID-19 Risk in Cleaning and Disinfecting Services WEBINAR: Watch the recorded Webinar HERE

Protect the workers

Job #1, protect the workers. If your employees have not been trained on personal protection equipment, if your firm does not have the equipment and experience working with bio-hazards, this is not the place for on the job training.

Follow the Guidance

Get Your Insurance in Order

At a minimum, contractors should review their general liability, contractor’s pollution liability, professional liability, and workers’ compensation policies with an insurance agent or broker with specialized knowledge or access to specialized knowledge in restoration contracting and biohazards.  There is no training available for insurance agents on the specialized needs of restoration contractors. Which explains why more than 90% of restores are inadequately insured today, not just on biohazard work.

Most Liability Insurance Policies Sold to Restorers Do Not Work Very Well, If At All, for Virus Decon Work

 

Here are the RED FLAG things to look for in insurance policies:

  • If there is a virus, microbial matter or communicable disease exclusion on one of the policies, do not perform virus decon or cat 3 water work. Do not work in health care settings to do anything. Policies without those exclusions are available.
  • If your rating pages for the premium charged show you classified as  “janitorial”,  be concerned that a janitor doing virus decon work in personal protective gear could be considered a material change in the risk that the underwriter agreed to insure at the beginning of the policy term.  To avoid claims problems over an undisclosed “material change in the risk”, all you have to do is make sure all your insurance underwriters know that you are performing virus decon jobs.  Some underwriters who have been kidding themselves (and their bosses) that restoration contractors are just glorified janitors will be confronted with the reality that restorers need to deal with Category 3 water and other biological contaminants all the time. If an underwriter decides to cut and run from biohazard work to protect their job security, it is better to know that insurance company wants nothing to do with biohazard work before a claims adjuster is denying you coverage for a claim over an “undisclosed material change in the risk”.  Insurance companies do that, it is kind of the ultimate exclusion. Here is nothing inherently wrong with being classified as a janitor as long as the underwriter has been fully informed in the insurance application what you do for a living.

Here are the FEATURES of the  insurance coverage you need for biohazard work:

  • The CPL and Professional liability coverage should specifically reference fungi/bacteria/virus or Microbial Matter or Microbial Substance as a covered “Pollutant”.
  • There should be a reference to how the cleanup cost coverage under the policy is triggered that is not dependent upon environmental laws, because there are no environmental laws for biohazards including virus.
  • Ideally, the coverage in the insurance policy is in lockstep to the industry standards you use to do your work.  

With trained personnel following the new guidance in the RIA/IICRC Documents and insurance coverage specifically adopted to biohazard work, restorers will play a big part in bringing us all back to some normalcy.  

God bless the restorers!

 

We are here to offer advice and help. Thank you for the opportunity to be of service.

For customized insurance, solutions Call or have insurance agent call ARMR.

877-735-0800 | Marketing@armr.net

For Your Insurance Agent

The below information may help you answer customer inquiries on coverage for virus cause losses.