Swimming Pool Contractor
Swimming Pool Contractor Insurance
A swimming pool contractor works with a client to design a pool and then arranges for the installation of the pool. This contractor orders the materials and hires and supervises the subcontractors that actually install the pool. Subcontractors include excavators, electricians, plumbers and cement contractors in addition to any other specialty contractors needed for the particular project. Swimming pool contractors install commercial and residential swimming pools, spas, fountains and similar projects that involve water and hydraulics. Most swimming pool contractors also provide service, maintenance and repair services.
Property exposures depend on the type and amount of stock kept on hand. Some contractors have only a small display area while others display above ground pools and a variety of pool related products available for retail purchase. The most significant exposure is the storage of pool chemicals in a dry area because the introduction of even a small amount of water to certain dry chemicals can trigger an explosion.
Crime exposures are primarily from employee dishonesty losses of money and property. Contractors with large retail operations present a larger money and securities exposure that must be addressed.
Inland marine exposures are from goods in transit, installation floater, accounts receivable and valuable papers and records. These exposures vary, depending on the size of the job and the length of time needed to complete the installation. Copper tubing is a particularly attractive commodity to thieves. Valuable papers and records usually consist of custom project plans and copies should be kept at an offsite location for easier restoration. The project is usually paid for by installment or progress payments as the installation proceeds so the accounts receivable exposure could be significant throughout the course of the project.
Premises liability exposures are significant and are cause for concern. The general contractor is responsible for the safety aspects of the entire jobsite, even during times when there is no construction activity. Safety barriers such as perimeter fencing may be needed if the excavation work is complete but other construction has not yet started.
Contractual liability exposures are very important to swimming pool contractors.While control of physical hazards is important, the most important issue to any swimming pool contractor is the language in its contracts with the client and its subcontractors. Financial losses and expensive litigation are virtually assured if the contractor fails to secure valid certificates of insurance with adequate limits from its subcontractors. In addition, it is essential that the swimming pool contractor and project owner be named and included as additional insureds on every subcontractor’s policy because doing so is important in the determination of who pays a loss.
Completed operations exposures represent another major area of significant loss potential. The swimming pool designer and engineer, the quality of the construction materials, and the details of the project are all critical. If the swimming pool contractor fails to maintain the appropriate level of quality control and does not completely comply with construction, design and material specifications, a serious loss could occur. Suction from an improperly installed swimming pool filter can eviscerate a child. Any improperly installed diving board, ladder or in-pool lighting can lead to serious injuries and even death. Walking areas with improperly applied surfaces can lead to slip and fall injuries.
Environmental Impairment exposures are present if the contractor stores pool chemicals. Proper disposal of waste material is important because of the potential impact on groundwater. Any release of chemicals has the potential for causing significant environmental damage.
Automobile exposures may be limited to those of the private passenger type when the only operation is executive supervisor travel between installation sites. In those cases, it is important to be familiar with the controls required of any private passenger fleet, particularly concerning permitted use. If the swimming pool contractor is also performing part of the installation, vehicle usage and exposures are similar to those of a special trade contractor and should be treated accordingly.
Workers compensation exposures depend on the actual work performed. If executive supervisors only visit the job site and provide supervision, the exposure is essentially that of a clerical nature with a small amount of exposure due to jobsite inspections. However, if employees of the swimming pool contractor actually do part of the work, the exposure should be evaluated based on the type and extent of the work done. The swimming pool contractor is responsible for control of the job site and may be liable for injuries to any subcontractors on it. If the contractor stores property on the job site premises, doing so creates exposures from moving such property manually or with mechanical assistance.
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