Posted on: 23 July 2018Share
If you're a civil contractor, you know that you need to prepare for the unexpected. You operate in a volatile environment where there are plenty of risks, and without adequate insurance coverage, you wouldn't be able to sleep at night. However, you need to understand the extent of your risks and make sure that you are ready and able to make a claim, should you need to. To be as prepared as possible, therefore, you need to keep comprehensive records, even though this may appear to be overkill. How should you ensure you are adequately covered?
To do your work properly, you will need a range of equipment, and in total, this will represent a considerable capital expenditure. Often, these machines are left unattended at a remote work site, and while you may take steps to secure them, enterprising individuals may deprive you of that asset. If so, you may need to make a claim against your civil contractor insurance and will be asked to prove the value of the asset. While you may be able to take out the original purchase invoice, what about all those upgrades and enhancements that you've made since that date? You need to put your hand on detailed financial records so that you can arrive at a fair value assessment.
You may be unlucky to be a victim of a vandal, who has caused considerable damage to some of your other assets. Once again, you may need to claim against your insurance but will need to document all this mischief carefully. Take photographs of the damage from close range and gather statements from any of your staff or other witnesses to corroborate the details.
Sometimes, circumstances beyond your control will get in the way and force you to stop work on a particularly large project. This could be due to the actions of another contractor as just one example, but if you're going to claim for business interruption insurance, then you will need to carefully document your average earnings. You need to produce accounting records to show how much you would have earned in a similar period, as well as providing documents for the job in question. You will need to be able to project your losses very accurately.
If the situation continues for a long period of time, you may find yourself in breach of contract for no fault of your own. In this case, you may need to make a claim against a surety bond, and will need to back this up with contracts, invoices and correspondence related to the enforced delay.
Are You Properly Covered?
Finally, make sure that your civil contracting coverage is adequate. If you need to make amendments or add particular lines of coverage, get in touch with your broker as soon as possible.