What Does An Additional Insured Mean For a Contractor?

Contractor Additional Insured (AI’s): What are they, how do they work, and why do companies require them?

On the surface, an AI is exactly what it sounds like; the business or person is also insured under your policy for the work or project you’re doing. This makes it so your landlord, general contractor, or other additional insured can file a claim directly against your policy and get protection for damage you cause, rather than filing against their own policy. There are several AI forms, and they operate in different ways depending on what the AI’s interest is in your work. Here are a couple common scenarios involving the more “standard” forms before we dive into more complex areas:

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Landlord listed as an AI:

Very common when you’re leasing an office, shop, or yard. If you get sued for an injury at your office (someone trips and falls, etc.), this extends coverage to your landlord if they get wrapped into the lawsuit as well.


Similar to the landlord AI. If the lender gets wrapped up in a lawsuit for property damage or bodily injury, your policy will help defend them.

Vendors and companies leasing you equipment:

If you rent construction equipment, and cause damage or injury with it, an additional insured in favor of the rental company protects them if they’re dragged into a claim or lawsuit.

A business you’re doing work for:

If you injure someone at a business’s location, or cause damage to their building or property, an AI will let them file a claim directly to your insurance, rather than needing to use theirs first.

Another contractor:

The contractor can file a claim against your policy rather than theirs if you damage something. The general contractor is ultimately responsible for damage to the project because they hold the contract with the client. If a sub causes a fire or their machinery damages a structure, an AI in favor of the general contractor allows the GC to file a claim directly with the sub’s insurance policy.

Won’t my insurance cover damage I cause though? Why do they need me to list them as additional insured on my policy?

Simply put, an AI provides a straight path for a landlord or contractor to file a claim. If you’ve caused damage, the AI can immediately get the claim rolling, and they can go through your policy rather than their own. There usually won’t be the question of “does this person have insurance?”, and an AI endorsement formally shifts more of the responsibility onto your policy.

The certificate holder clause says that the insurance company will notify the additional insureds in a timely manner if the policy is being canceled, so that gives an additional layer of protection for the AI.

In the next article, we’ll dive into the 4 most common additional insured forms, how to interpret them, and what you need to look out for. We’ll also go over what “primary wording” and “waiver of subrogation” forms are.

How to Make Your Insurance Claim Go Smooth As Butter


Insurance claims suck! They’re stressful, slow, confusing, and worst of all you’re filing one because something bad happened. After being part of hundreds of claims, I wanted to put together some of the best practices that we and our clients have used to make them a LOT less painful for everyone.
Probably the biggest time saver of us all is utilizing your insurance company’s in-network companies. Whether that’s an approved auto body shop they work with, a restoration company for your home, or a physician network for workers comp., this is going to save massive time and headaches. Most policies allow you to fix your car or repair your house from whomever you choose, as long as your adjuster approves of the repairs. It can take a week or longer for that negotiation between the adjuster and body shop to get an approval. And that’s before the repairs can even start! When you go with a body shop in their network, the body shop acts as your adjuster, and can start repairs immediately. You’ve saved yourself a week +, and the work is now probably guaranteed for the life of you owning the car. Win-win.

Be flexible for your adjuster. Unless you’re doing something that can’t wait, pick up the phone if they call. They’re probably working on dozens of other claims besides yours, and getting them on the phone is usually pretty tough. They return calls when they have time, and 9/10 times you’re going to get their voicemail if you call them. If you miss their call it coule be hours or a day before you can get back in touch.

To piggyback on the last point; be organized. Have all your questions written down, and go into calls assuming this is your one chance for the day to speak with the adjuster. It might be hours or the next day before the adjuster can get back to you.

Garage Lift

Garagekeepers Insurance Explained

Garagekeepers insurance is an often times confusing type of coverage most commonly found on auto repair and body shop insurance policies. It provides comprehensive and collision coverage for a customer’s vehicle while in the business’s care and custody. Not all garagekeepers coverage is the same though, and your level of coverage can vary even with the same insurance company. There are 3 different policy types, with massive differences in coverage and rates. When renewing your policy or purchasing a new one, make sure you understand which form you’re agreeing to, or you could be setting yourself up for disaster down the line:

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