Builders Risk and Liability Coverage: Navigating the Interplay for Construction Accidents and Casualties

Reconciling Overlapping Exclusions, Other Insurance Provisions, Primary vs. Excess Policies, Additional Insureds, and Subrogation

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Recorded event now available

This CLE webinar will provide counsel for construction owners and contractors with an analysis of the interplay between builder’s risk and CGL insurance for construction projects. The panel will discuss how they work in tandem, but also focus on the specific challenging issues and uncertainty counsel face in the intersection between the two types of coverages, including defective work exclusions, other insurance provisions, primary vs. excess policies, additional insureds and subrogation.


Construction projects are always at risk for economic losses from unanticipated mid-construction accidents, property damage and casualties that result in unbudgeted and costly expenses needed to complete the project.

Often these mid-construction losses implicate both the first-party builder’s risk policy covering the owner and the third-party CGL policy covering the contractor and subcontractors. While they are intended to cover different losses, the coverage picture is not always clear.

Counsel for all stakeholders in the project often must navigate complex issues that arise in the intersection between builder’s risk policies and CGL policies such as defective work exclusions, other insurance provisions, primary vs. excess policies, additional insureds and subrogation.

Listen as our authoritative panel of construction insurance attorneys guides you through the characteristics of builder’s risk and CGL insurance policies, how they work together, and the challenging issues counsel face in the intersection between the two types of coverages, including defective work exclusions, other insurance clauses, primary vs. excess policies, additional insureds and subrogation.


  1. Overview of builder’s risk coverage
  2. Overview of liability coverage
  3. Issues germane to the interplay between the liability and builder’s risk coverage
    1. Defective work exclusions
    2. Other insurance provisions
    3. Primary vs. excess
    4. Additional insureds
    5. Subrogation


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are risks covered by builder’s risk policies and how do they differ from the risks covered by CGL policies?
  • How do these coverages work in tandem with respect to mid-construction losses and what legal issues arise in the intersection of the two?
  • How have courts addressed the issue of how first-party property coverage and third-party liability can be primary or excess to each other?


John H. Podesta, Partner
Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, San Francisco

Mr. Podesta focuses his practice in the areas of insurance coverage and bad faith, business litigation, land development and general civil litigation. With more than three decades of experience in the insurance field, he has knowledge across the industry from contract language to insurance agents’ professional liability. As a former claims supervisor for a major insurer and as an insurance investigator prior to practicing law, he brings a “bottom-line” perspective to insurance coverage and bad faith matters as well as to his commercial and defense work.

Robert V. Closson, Shareholder
Hirsch Closson, San Diego

Mr. Closson joined the Firm in 2008 and continues to concentrate his practice in insurance coverage litigation, "bad faith" litigation, coverage related matters, and appeals. His insurance practice has involved the property and casualty fields of commercial and personal lines policies with an emphasis on construction defect, intellectual property, business litigation and environmental claims.

Michael V. Pepe, Esq.
Saxe Doernberger & Vita, Trumbull, Conn.

Mr. Pepe focuses his practice on complex insurance coverage issues on behalf of policyholders, and has advocated for his clients at trial, on appeal and in ADR settings. He routinely handles issues dealing with commercial liability, builders’ risk, additional insured claims, indemnity, and the duty to defend. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Pepe represented general contractors, subcontractors, architects and homeowners in contract disputes, construction defect claims, and surety bond claims. 

Dawn A. Silberstein, Of Counsel
Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, San Francisco

Ms. Silberstein is experienced representing insurance carriers and policyholders in litigation involving third-party liability and first-party property coverage claims. She also has represented homeowner associations and common interest developments in construction defect litigation and as corporate counsel, drafting easements and amending governing documents, including covenants, conditions and restrictions. In addition, she has experience implementing, monitoring, planning and evaluating the City and County of San Francisco’s EEO programs, including investigating internal complaints related to alleged violations of state and federal EEO law and responding to charges of discrimination filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Commission and Department of Fair Employment and Housing.


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Customer Reviews

The web conference covered the material in an efficient fashion without a lot of duplication.

Matthew W. Willis

Ashley Ashley & Arnold

The seminar was very informative and the speakers provided great handouts that will be a great reference tool in the future.

Michelle Rosenthal

Garvey Schubert Barer

I was pleased with the in-depth, comprehensive coverage of a fairly narrow but important set of issues.

Patricia L. Chapman

Gleaves Swearingen

The topic covered was very timely, the program was well structured and I appreciated that the speakers addressed very recent issues.

Benjamin Brutlag


The program contained good information based on solid experience.

Edward M. Dunham, Jr.

Kleinbard Bell & Brecker

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Real Estate Law Advisory Board

David A. Barksdale


Ballard Spahr

Jacob Bart


Stroock & Stroock & Lavan

Brian W. Blaesser


Robinson & Cole

Ronald B. Grais


Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Hammer

Ren R. Hayhurst


Bryan Cave

Thomas C. Homburger

Of Counsel

K&L Gates

Susan C. Tarnower


Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton

Clark T. Thiel


Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

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