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An improved method of requesting insurance under UK construction contracts

Eaglestone, F. N. (1993). An improved method of requesting insurance under UK construction contracts. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)

Abstract

From attending various seminars concerning insurance for the construction industry over the years it is apparent that architects, consultant structural engineers and quantity surveyors find themselves saddled with the responsibility of inspecting the contractors' insurances on behalf of their client, who commissions the work.

This comes about not so much by reason of a contractual term, although it can happen in that way, but more frequently because the private (as distinct from the commercial developer or local authority) employer looks to his construction professional to do this work for him. Because this professional knows more about the conventional insurance policies called for by the construction contract than his private client does, he finds it difficult to avoid this pitfall. The construction professional can disclaim liability or pass his client to an insurance professional to carry out this work. However, he tends to avoid this approach, partly because a disclaimer is possibly not acceptable to a fee-paying client, and partly because insurance is usually regarded as a peripheral matter and the insurance consultant would probably require a fee.

In these circumstances in the event of the employer, who commissions the work, suffering a loss which is not met by the contractors ' insurance (in accordance with the contract) the construction professional may find himself liable, or at least facing a claim, to meet the uninsured loss. The test the courts apply would be the standard applicable to an insurance professional, which the construction professional is not.

Therefore to assist him (and others who may be similarly responsible) the suggestion is made in this thesis that the construction contract should give more detail in the way of a policy operative clause and exclusions which the contract allows for the conventional policies usually required by construction contracts. This involves the contractors' all risks (CAR) policy covering the works, the employers' liability (EL) policy covering the liability for injury to the contractors' employees, and the public liability (PL) policy covering the liability to the public other than the contractors' employees.

The main U.K. construction contracts are considered in detail, together with their subsidiary contracts, requiring these conventional policies and a suggested wording is included. In the case of the JCT contract a CAR policy wording is already in existence following the 1986 amendment, and this wording is used in the other contracts. In the case of the liability policies (EL and PL) a wording is suggested for all the above mentioned construction contracts. Details are given of where and how all the wording used should be inserted for all contracts concerned except for the CAR policy in the JCT contract. Criticisms and alternative suggestions are considered with their advantages and disadvantages. Conclusions and recommendations are summarised.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
T Technology > TH Building construction
Departments: Bayes Business School > Actuarial Science & Insurance
Bayes Business School > Bayes Business School Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses
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