The Commercial Line

Builders’ Risk and Installation Floater: Which Coverage is Right for your Project?

The appropriate usage of Builders’ Risk and Installation Floater coverages can sometimes be difficult to determine. As a general overview, Builders’ Risk coverage is intended to cover either a single building or structure, or multiple buildings or structures, during construction, rehabilitation, or repair. Installation Floater coverage is suitable for most contractors engaged in low-to-moderate hazard installation activities, such as plumbing, electrical, heating, cooling and air conditioning, cabinetry, and alarm installations on new or existing buildings.

Protect Yourself and Your Land: Insurance Considerations Surrounding Fracking

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has become a very controversial topic in today’s society. Fracking, for those unaware, is a technique for drilling deep under the Earth’s surface for natural gas. To drill for the gas, a well is drilled deep into the Earth’s surface, usually over 1-2 miles. Once deep enough to access the natural gas, the well turns 90 degrees and extends parallel with the surface. Chemically-treated water is then pumped into the well with a strong enough force to create cracks surrounding the well. The cracks release natural gas which is then pumped back up through the well with the fracking fluid.


During the past few decades, there has been increased use of “sandwich panels” in construction. They are cheap, lightweight, easy to erect, hygienic and able to provide an excellent thermal barrier. While they do not start fires, they have been implicated in rapid fire spread caused by a hazardous operation.

Distracted Driving

Perhaps the legendary rock and roll band, The Doors, said it best, “Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel.” Driver distractions or inattentive driving play a part in one out of every four motor vehicle crashes. That is more than 1.5 million collisions a year and 4,300 crashes daily, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Text messaging, changing radio stations, even turning around to talk to passengers can prove deadly.

Fire Damage Legal Liability

Typically, when a company (or individual) rents partial space or the entire building from the owners of the building, they may be required to provide fire liability coverage or even broader liability coverage for the value of the section they occupy or the full value of the building. This is why it is important to carefully review all written lease agreements to truly understand what liability the tenant is assuming.

Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA)

In June 2013, an article was published in Westfield’s The Commercial Line blog outlining some of the main points included in the “most sweeping reform to the food production industry in 80 years.” The overall goal of these reforms is to shift to a proactive response to food contamination, rather than a reactive one. This is being done with the addition of prevention-based controls across the industry.

What’s the Deal with Cyber Liability?

By now, most people in the insurance industry have heard of cyber liability. Cyber liability is the risk posed by conducting business via the Internet, other networks, or by using electronic storage technology.

Flood Exposures and Large Property Risks

Normally a building’s exposure to flooding is determined by consulting a flood service provider, asking them to provide the FEMA flood symbol and determine if the risk is located in a Special Flood Hazard area. This is fine for a small property risk, especially if the property is located near the street, since the flood exposure is determined at the “mailbox” or at the curb.