The Impossible Task: Keeping Up With Changing Laws, Policy Forms, and State Nuances

July 25, 2017

Like something from the Exorcist, keeping up with laws, forms and state nuances can be a head spinning task for compliance admins. Why not dump the demons and allow myCOI to do the updates for you?

As a compliance administrator or even an executive who is tasked with overseeing compliance for all vendors and subcontracts, you know all too well just how often the landscape changes. From ever-changing laws as a result of loopholes or new case law to evolving insurance policy forms to the many state specific nuances, keeping up can be impossible. If you or your team has multiple areas of focus, then it’s easy to miss changes completely, let alone know how to respond to each individual issue.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of those “impossible tasks” of keeping up, and will share some especially important issues to be on the lookout for when reviewing insurance documents. But, don’t worry, we’ll also offer a solution for keeping up that will ease your mind and will give you a chance to breathe, knowing you have a team of experts watching out for your organization.

State-Specific Issues

  • Labor Law Exclusions

Exclusions can be one such example of nuances that can impact insurance coverage, especially when each state can differ. In the case of labor law exclusions, insurance carriers frequently include exclusions to eliminate coverage arising out of employee injuries. Kirkwood Insurance explains that the majority of liability claims in New York arise out of these ‘action over’ claims by employees. “Often these claims are against the owner or general contractor and the allegations are that they violated the New York labor law safety requirements. The general contractor or owner would then look to the employer for coverage by means of the indemnification agreement.”

But New York is just one state, and each state has its own nuances when it comes to exclusions, so it’s imperative to always keep up with new regulations and laws.

  • Construction Defect and Right to Repair Laws

Construction defect and right to repair laws in states such as California, Florida, and Texas, which have resulted in completed operations exclusions on many policies. For the state of California specifically, this all started in 2002 after an adverse decision by the California Supreme Court denying homeowners the right to sue for construction defects that had not yet caused actual damage to other property or parts of a home, the California General Assembly adopted the “Right to Repair Act”, which is often referred to as SB 800.

The Right to Repair Act was set into motion to, according to Wolff Law Office in California, to specify the rights and requirements of a homeowner to bring an action for construction defects, including applicable standards for home construction, the statute of limitations, the burden of proof, the damages recoverable, a detailed pre litigation procedure, and the obligations of the homeowner. These specifications have had a major impact on the general liability policy and how completed operations coverage is written.

Just like in California, many other states also have their own state nuances when it comes to the Right to Repair, which adds yet another keeping up topic for compliance administrators.

Policy Forms

ACORD, the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development, is just one source for insurance policy forms. The non-profit provides the insurance industry with data standards and implementation solutions and is widely known across the industry for the publication and maintenance of an extensive archive of these standardized forms. In fact, ACORD has developed a comprehensive library of electronic data standards with more than 1200 standardized transaction types to support exchange of insurance data between trading partners.

Just knowing the ins and outs of all of the ACORD forms can be a job in and of itself, let alone all of the other forms that are available to the market.

Keeping Up With the Changes

When it comes to keeping up with changing laws, forms, and state-by-state nuances, overlooking one important detail can mean trouble for your organization. Rather than stressing about keeping up to date on everything, consider a certificate of insurance tracking service like myCOI to help you stay organized and on top of your game.

Ready to Learn More About Keeping Up?

Interested in learning more about their insurance tracking services, or want to see myCOI in action? Request a product demo or sign up for our newsletter to stay in the know.

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