New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

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Contractor Insurance

Braverman & Associates
Robert J. Braverman,


A cooperative retained a contractor to perform interior renovations. During the course of the project one of the shareholders claimed to have been made sick as a result of purportedly noxious fumes created by the work. The co-op filed a claim with its general liability carrier who, in turn, requested to see the contractor’s certificate of insurance.

After reviewing that certificate of insurance, the cooperative’s insurer raised a concern regarding whether the contractor’s insurance excluded coverage for certain labor law claims and demanded that the cooperative immediately pull the contractor off the job site until the insurer could review the endorsements to the contractor’s policy.

The co-op stopped the project until the insurance issue was resolved. It turned out that the contractor’s policy was not objectionable, but the co-op found itself faced with a claim by the contractor for thousands of dollars in losses purportedly incurred by the contractor as a result of the job being temporarily stopped.

Legal Lesson

The lesson to be learned is that before entering into any construction contracts, the board should have its insurance brokers review a copy of the contractor’s certificate of insurance to obtain confirmation that the limits of liability, the contractor’s insurers, and the scope of insurance are commercially reasonable and do not conflict with any provisions of the building’s liability insurance.

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