The risk of bodily injury lawsuits is an unavoidable reality for property owners and facilities managers (“FMs”) of large commercial sites such as universities, malls, office buildings, or stadiums. Any person who steps foot on the property is a potential plaintiff, including students, tenants, customers, contractors, and vendors.
Insurance mitigates these risks, but a property owner’s or FM’s risk transfer strategy should include more than their own suite of general liability and other third-party policies. Ensuring additional insured status on a vendor’s or contractor’s policy is also essential to a comprehensive risk transfer strategy. In a functional risk transfer program, a vendor’s or contractor’s general liability insurer should defend and indemnify property owners or FMs as additional insureds (“AIs”) for liability for bodily injury caused, in whole or in part, by the vendor’s or contractor’s operations. When this works as intended, it effectively transfers costs associated with such a lawsuit from the owner or FM to the vendor’s or contractor’s insurer. It also increases the insurance limits available for a loss.