The Ultimate Guide to COI Tracking for Construction

Careful COI tracking is especially important within the construction industry due to the plethora of potential liabilities and complicating factors

close up of employees working on construction blueprints

Published June 29, 2021   •   3 minute read

The importance of certificate of insurance (COI) tracking in construction cannot be overstated. The construction industry has among the highest third-party liability risks of any sector, due to the extensive usage of subcontractors; high risk of injuries, delays, substandard work, and other adverse incidents; and financial instability because of industry fluctuations. 

With so many potential hurdles to overcome, your COI tracking should be an asset rather than yet another risk. We’ll highlight what you need to know. 

Potential Liabilities in the Construction Industry That Necessitate COI Tracking for Business

Property Damage

Whether it results from an accident or faulty workmanship, property damage at a construction site can be costly. Leveraging contractual risk transfer and tracking your COIs help ensure liability falls on the responsible subcontractor rather than your business. 

Worker Injuries

If a worker is injured on your job site as a result of a subcontractor’s actions or inactions, you may be held responsible. Ensuring every subcontractor has a comprehensive workers’ compensation policy in place and maintaining proper records limits your exposure should a worker sustain an injury. 

Labor Violations

Just because you treat your workers well doesn’t mean that your subcontractors will lend the same courtesy to theirs. Violating labor laws can lead to hefty fines and/or costly lawsuits. To make matters worse, you might not even be aware of the violations until your business is on the line.  

Contract Noncompliance

Projects can fall behind for any number of reasons, some of which you have no control over. If a subcontractor fails to deliver within the agreed-upon timeline, it can throw off the whole project, costing you. Similarly, if they fail to comply with safety guidelines spelled out in the contract, you can open yourself up to an increased risk of worker injury. You put your contract in place for a reason, and maintaining COIs helps give you recourse if things don’t go according to plan.

Copyright Infringement

Copyright infringement may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about potential risks in the construction industry, but it’s not as uncommon as you might think. If another company believes your product, service, or even building design infringes on their intellectual property, they may make a claim.

 

Complicating Factors to COI Tracking for Construction Businesses

Flux & Flow of Work

The amount of work in COI tracking for construction varies considerably. When gearing up for a new project, you may be handling dozens of new documents. However, once a project has started, your tracking tasks may be limited to routine updating. For many construction companies, this flux and flow of work make it difficult to determine optimal staffing levels. 

Financial Instability

The economy’s ups and downs can greatly affect construction businesses. While many can ride out uncertainty, a costly lawsuit during already challenging times could spell certain doom. Implementing a comprehensive risk management strategy with careful COI tracking can help ensure you don’t get caught off guard. 

Turnover

There is high turnover among subcontractors in the construction industry. Businesses open and close, and individuals retire or leave the area. This means there is a more frequent need to add and purge documents. 

 

Let BCS Help Protect Your Construction Business

BCS is the go-to COI tracking platform for in-the-know construction companies. Our full-service tracking solution provides the highest standard in third-party liability risk management by combining state-of-the-art software and human support. If you prefer a more hands-on approach, our self-service option puts your team in the driver’s seat, while equipping them with our convenient platform to simplify the process.

Here’s what the Senior Vice President and Director of Risk Management at national construction and facility management firm Gilbane Building Company had to say: 

"Since 2009, GBC has utilized BCS for subcontractor insurance monitoring and compliance. The BCS team is hard-working and does their very best to respond to our needs accurately and in a timely manner. We are impressed with the functionality of their web-based software as it provides the ability to easily review documents, see updated notes, and monitor correspondence status. BCS has done a great job and working with them has been a wonderful experience."

If you’re ready to transform the COI tracking process of your construction business, contact us today to learn more.

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