Eugene Podokshik a Featured Speaker at the New York Real Estate Expo

Discusses Improperly Insured Contractors

New York, Oct 2013 –  Eugene B. Podokshik, Principal and CEO First Fidelity Brokerage, a leading independent insurance brokerage, was a featured speaker at the New York Real Estate Expo at the Hilton Hotel on October 8. His topic was “Beware of Not Properly Insured Contractors: A BriefGuide for Owners, Boards and Managing Agents.”

First Fidelity also had a booth in the exhibition area of the expo, one of the leading real estate conferences in New York.

In his presentation Podokshik discussed the antiquated New York Labor Law 241 and its effect on the availability and cost of insurance coverages for contractors.  The law imposes liability on property owners and their contractors for injuries to contractor employees resulting from falls, falling objects, or for the failure by responsible parties to control hazards.  Recently, owners have pushed the liability down to the contractors who are then pushing it further down to the subcontractors, who often can’t afford the skyrocketing insurance premiums. The negative effects of this law, however, are compounding and are having real and serious consequences on NewYork real estate industry costs and business practices.

The result is that all too often owners, co-op and condo boards and managing agents are put in jeopardy of being held liable in the event of an accident on their premises.  “Contractors and subcontractors in many cases are just not obtaining the proper insurance and the property owners don’t have the mechanisms or the manpower to make sure the contractors are in compliance.  The certificate of insurance provided by the contractor doesn’t give details of the policy and that’s what most managers and property look at,” Podokshik said.

How can owners, boards and agents protect themselves? Podokshik said they should start by implementing procedures for dealing with construction projects and having the contractor provide full copies of their insurance policies. An attorney or insurance broker with experience in such contracts should reviewthe policies to make certain all the necessary information and riders are included.There are companies, such as First Fidelity Brokerage, that offer this service for a fee or as part of their insurance brokerage services.  First Fidelity also has a sample agreement that our customers can view at www.ffbinsurance.com/constructionagr1.

If after a review of the contractor’s policies it is found that they are not in compliance, the contractor and subcontractors should not be allowed on the site until they have the proper coverage or a new contractor is selected who has the proper insurance.

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