The Case of the Demolition Bandits

Burglars and Bandits

A client of mine called to report a claim. His company had been hired as a demolition contractor to tear out the wreckage from a home that had suffered extensive water damage. The job was big enough that the homeowners had packed a bag or two and temporarily moved out. My client was given the alarm code so that his employees could come and go as necessary to prepare the home for repair.  

One morning, the homeowner stopped by to check on the construction progress and discovered the home had been robbed. Roughly $30,000 worth of electronics, clothing, and other items were gone. The alarm company’s records showed the alarm code had been entered late the night before. Based largely on the alarm company records and no evidence of forced entry, the homeowner accused my client’s employees of theft.  

My client called me with the claim, hoping his general liability policy would cover the loss. A general liability policy covers bodily injury and property damage that a company is legally liable for. So, in this situation, would the loss be covered by the general liability policy? In this case, no one was hurt (no bodily injury), and nothing was broken (no property damage). Additionally, the insurance company claims adjuster concluded that the demolition company was not legally liable for the alleged illegal actions of employees during non-work hours. The general liability claim was denied by the insurance company. However, the claim was covered by the homeowner’s insurance under “theft.”

For most businesses, the general liability policy is the foundation of their insurance coverage. However, it is not “all inclusive,” and does not cover all types of losses or disputes that may arise. A general liability policy is a good place to start with your business insurance. However, relying on that alone can leave your company exposed to risks not covered by your general liability policy.

That’s why it’s best to take an honest look at all the threats facing your business, including theft. For example, if a janitorial company is working in clients’ homes or businesses, they may want to look into coverage on theft. Same with a remodel contractor. This can help guide your insurance buying and loss prevention efforts to make sure you are fully covered. For help with all your risk management needs, call Beehive Insurance and talk to an insurance professional.

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