Builders risk policies may cover coronavirus-related losses | Pandemic insurance may cover what builders risk doesn't | SBA approves 178K Paycheck Protection Program loans for construction sector
April 22, 2020
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Leading News
Builders risk policies can provide coverage for coronavirus-related losses if the policy language allows for it, although exclusions frequently exist for pandemics and work stoppages, two attorneys write. "Given the intense social, legislative and executive pressure to cover COVID-19 claims, there may be a tendency for the courts to find coverage in gray areas," the attorneys write.
Full Story: Saxe Doernberger & Vita (4/17) 
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Builders risk insurance generally won't cover pandemic-related losses, which typically require that covered losses be physical. However, at least one company is offering coverage triggered by losses resulting from a pandemic.
Full Story: Engineering News-Record (tiered subscription model) (4/15) 
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Surety Agents and Sureties Can Help Small Contractors Manage Risk
Before bidding on jobs or signing contracts, small contractors should get expert information from surety agents and sureties on how to reduce risk. Working together, they can examine and mitigate possible risks from owners, general contractors, contract language, suppliers, labor issues, materials availability and pricing, weather, thieves and safety practices. Learn more here
Industry News
The Small Business Administration approved nearly 178,000 loans totaling about $45 billion for the construction industry in the first round of the Paycheck Protection Program. Additional funding for the program has gained Senate approval and could see a House vote by Thursday.
Full Story: Construction Dive (4/20) 
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Construction in Md., N.J., Pa. must follow CDC guidance
Many states are urging the construction sector and other industries deemed essential to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidance for safety during the coronavirus pandemic, but some states are making compliance mandatory. The governors of Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have issued executive orders requiring essential businesses to follow the CDC guidelines.
Full Story: JD Supra/Cozen O'Connor (4/20) 
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Risk & Compliance
An appeals court has held that a surety is not liable for its contractor's default because the owner did not provide timely notice. The decision demonstrates that timely notice from owners can be necessary even if the terms of a bond do not specify a time frame for notification, an attorney writes.
Full Story: JD Supra/Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr (4/20) 
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Association News
NASBP Blog: Construction project shutdowns: Know your general contract terms for force majeure, suspension and termination
NASBP Blog: Construction project shutdowns: Know your general contract terms for force majeure, suspension and termination
Martin (NASBP)
As state and local governments shut down construction projects in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, project owners and contractors should review closely the general contracts for their projects to determine what consequences shutdown orders will have on those projects. John P. Martin, special counsel in the Boston office of McCarter & English, describes best practices for negotiating the construction contract language of such terms negotiated for important contract provisions, such as the force majeure, suspension and termination provisions, which can be critical to assessing next steps and potential responses. Read more.
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April 28 NASBP Virtual Seminar: COVID-19's impact on the construction industry now and in the future
April 28 NASBP Virtual Seminar: COVID-19's impact on the construction industry now and in the future
Join us for this NASBP Virtual Seminar at 2 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, April 28. "On the Legal Front Lines of the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Construction Industry Preparing for the Post-Pandemic Future" brings together attorneys from Foley & Lardner's Coronavirus Task Force to discuss key legal and business considerations for surety, construction and business leaders, and practical solutions for the future. Topics include supply chain, customs issues, labor and employment issues, and more. Register for this stand-alone NASBP Virtual Seminar or register for the NASBP 2020 Virtual Seminar Annual Subscription, the entire set of NASBP Virtual Seminars for 2020, and save! This NASBP Virtual Seminar is sponsored by Old Republic Surety. Register.
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New episode of NASBP podcast "Let's Get Surety" examines federal construction contracts in the wake of COVID-19
New episode of NASBP podcast "Let's Get Surety" examines federal construction contracts in the wake of COVID-19
Sebastian, left, and Padove (NASBP)
The NASBP podcast "Let's Get Surety: Let Me Hear Your Bonding Talk" is back with a new episode! In episode seven, "Federal Construction Contracts and Excusable Delays," host Kat Shamapande and co-host Mark McCallum talk with guests John Sebastian and Brian Padove, attorneys at Watt, Tieder, Hoffar and Fitzgerald. They discuss federal construction contracts, specifically the Federal Acquisitions Regulation in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. They share insights on reviewing contracts, giving notice, the burden of proof and more. Also check out their NASBP Blog post on this topic. Access this and other "Let's Get Surety" episodes from any of these systems: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or SuretyLearn. Be guaranteed to succeed!
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Trends & Technology
A survey found that 93% of building departments are still conducting inspections amid the coronavirus pandemic and that more than 60% are unable to perform inspections remotely. The International Code Council says departments should take steps starting with getting clearance from the appropriate officials before beginning remote inspections.
Full Story: Construction Dive (4/15) 
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Opinion Poll
Are construction contractors receiving adequate assistance via Paycheck Protection Program loans?
Yes, many are
Yes, some are
No, most aren't
Not sure
Are states enforcing the appropriate level of safety guidance for construction during the coronavirus pandemic?
VoteYes, most are
VoteYes, some are
VoteNo, most aren't
VoteNot sure
You have to not know in order to see what stories your life's efforts bring you. The mystery is all.
Lorrie Moore,
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Founded in 1942, NASBP is the association of and resource for surety bond producers and allied professionals. NASBP producers specialize in providing surety bonds for construction contracts and other purposes to companies and individuals needing the assurance offered by surety bonds.

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