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Subscriber only, premium content. Thursday, September 22

Post-Recession Risks Await Mid-Market Construction Contractors

The sluggish recovery of new U.S. construction contracts is pushing many small and middle-market contractors out of their comfort zones, exposing them to unusual and potentially devastating legal and financial risks.

  1. Identify & Analyze

    Broadened business open to multiple angles of risk exposure

  2. Evaluate & Implement

    Insurance and risk transfer markets adapting

  3. Monitor & Adjust

    Heightened awareness key to navigating marketplace

With economic recovery in several construction segments slow to take hold, more small and midsize contractors are pursuing work that may be well beyond their field of expertise, if not their physical or financial capacity, construction risk management experts said. ›› More

In order to take advantage of recent spurts of new contract opportunities in certain regions of the United States, many small and midsize construction contractors are finding themselves forced to submit bids for work in states far afield from their usual zones of operation, construction risk management experts said. ›› More

Layoffs during the recession have resulted in a shortage of qualified workers in specialized areas of construction in certain geographic areas, and the problem will likely worsen as construction picks up during the recovery. ›› More

Middle-market construction contractors that bid on projects outside of their historical areas of expertise, such as residential contractors seeking commercial work, are likely to be presented with contract terms and conditions with which they may not be familiar, construction risk management experts say. ›› More

What can building owners and contractors do to mitigate the potential for gaps in a project's insurance coverage when problems occur? Cynthia Pertile Tarle of Tarle Law P.C. and Lori Robinett of Willis North America Inc. outline how to build a partnership, connect the dots and pay attention to all the details. ›› More

Editor's Picks: Online Solutions & Resources

Associated General Contractors of America Business Development Survey

The Associated General Contractors of America and FMI Corp.'s 2012 Business Development Survey gauges the impact of the challenging economy on the construction industry.

Since the end of the Great Recession, many small and midsize contractors have become much more likely to encounter requirements to provide surety bonding as a condition of approval for a construction contract, according to several surety and construction risk management experts. ›› More

With the wrap-up market remaining buyer-friendly, many middle-market construction firms are likely to encounter wrap-up participation as a contractual requirement on many projects on which they are bidding, perhaps for the first time. ›› More

U.S. middle-market contractors must clearly understand their general liability exposures as they face firming rates, tightening terms and conditions, and unfamiliar policy requirements. ›› More

While rates in the broader market for builders risk insurance have been relatively flat this year, rates in catastrophe-exposed regions have increased between 10% and 20%. ›› More

Middle-market contractors in the United States that are venturing into new areas of work may face professional liability exposures as they take on unfamiliar projects. ›› More

Contractor-controlled insured programs are increasing in popularity, but these programs are not risk-free. Mike Hastings, Marsh Inc.'s project risk practice leader for U.S. construction, details best practices to create a successful program and solid relationships with both subcontractors and owners. ›› More

Editor's Picks: Online Solutions & Resources

Contractor's Guide to OCIPs

As more middle-market contractors are being required to work under wrap-up insurance programs, many for the first time are finding it necessary to deal with complex issues these programs can raise. This guide, drafted by the Associated General…

The weak economy has made it more important than ever for general contractors to vet subcontractors on construction projects, although it has become more difficult in many cases to do so, experts say. ›› More

Put aside the heavy equipment, powerful tools, steel beams and other tangible images associated with the construction industry. Hiring and retaining talented employees requires companies to focus on intangibles, such as a potential hire's individual goals and values. ›› More