Insurance Coverage for Design-Build Construction Projects

Maximizing CGL, PLI and AI Coverage to Mitigate Risks for D-B Contractors

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

Conducted on Thursday, September 15, 2011
Recorded event now available

This CLE webinar will offer counsel to design-build construction projects a review of scope of coverage in commercial general liability, professional liability and umbrella policies. The panel will discuss coverage triggers, covered damages, exclusions and policy conditions and offer best practices to maximize coverage.


In a typical design-build project, a prime contractor has both construction and design responsibility, the latter by subcontract with a design professional, instead of using owner-provided plans. This approach introduces risks that differ from those in a traditional “design-bid-build” project.

Although risk transfer and allocation may differ, many of the same insurance policies are at issue, including CGL, PLI, builders risk and umbrella/excess policies. Newer insurance policies may protect non-design professionals from design-related risks and coverage gaps, such as OPPI or CPPI policies.

In each instance, understanding such things as the relationship between insurance, contract requirements, additional insured status and the line between “design” and “construction means and methods” can be the difference between successful risk transfer and expensive failure.

Listen as our authoritative panel of insurance attorneys guides you through coverage issues for design-build construction and how insurance mitigates these sometimes unique risks.


  1. CGL and PLI policies
    1. Triggers
    2. Covered damages
    3. Exclusions
    4. Policy condition
    5. Excess/umbrella coverage
  2. Other coverage for design-related risks
    1. OPPI policies
    2. CPPI policies
  3. Additional insured coverage
  4. Best practices to maximize coverage and minimize risks


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What unique liability risks face Design Build contractors and what gaps in conventional insurance programs and policies may exist?
  • How can overlap between CGL and PLI coverage best be avoided or reconciled?
  • What new products are available to address design build risks?
  • What pitfalls exist for the unwary?


Stephen D. Palley, Principal
Ober | Kaler, Washington, D.C.

He specializes in insurance coverage litigation with a construction industry focus, as well as complex construction defect litigation. He has also advised clients on the development and negotiation of insurance and risk-transfer programs for some of the largest construction projects in the United States, including power plants, airports, sports venues and hospitals.

John Hunt, Counsel
Forest City Ratner, Brooklyn, N.Y.


Timothy E. Delahunt, Partner
Kenney Shelton Liptak Nowak, Buffalo, N.Y.

He represents insurance carriers and insurance professionals throughout NY. His clients include national insurers, mutuals, specialty insurers, surplus lines carriers, third party administrators, managing general agents, and brokers and agents. An experienced trial and appellate litigator in state and federal courts, he also counsels clients on coverage and underwriting issues outside litigation.


CLE On-Demand - Streaming Audio

Includes recorded streaming audio of full program plus PDF handouts.

On-demand is the only recorded format recognized for CLE credits in DE, IN, KS, LA, MS, NC, OH, OK, SC, TN, VA, WI.

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*Only available for attorneys admitted for more than two years. For OH CLE credits, only programs recorded within the current calendar year are eligible - contact the CLE department for verification.

**NH attendees must self-determine if a program is eligible for credit and self-report their attendance.

CLE On-Demand Audio $297.00

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Program Materials

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Customer Reviews

It was well organized, moved through the materials quickly and covered them well.

Angela Taylor

Polsinelli Shughart

The seminar was well presented and the topic was tied very well to real life examples.

Anne Turner

Phelps Dunbar

A very good nuts and bolts program on what to do in this area.

Carol Babbitt

The Law Office of Carol Coplan Babbitt

I thought that the program materials were simple to follow and the program was straight forward.

Scott Olson

Seyfarth Shaw

The speakers' presentations were very substantive and provided new information for seasoned practitioners.

Therese Lee


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Insurance Law Advisory Board

John Broghammer


Greve Clifford Wengel & Paras

Tred Eyerly


Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert

John D. Green


Farella Braun + Martel

Alan P. Jacobus

Lafayette & Kumagai

William E. Kelley, Jr.


Drewry Simmons Vornehm

William O. Krekstein


Timoney Knox

Jay M. Levin

Principal and Chair of the Insurance Recovery Practice

Offit Kurman

Peter J. Mintzer


Selman Breitman

Barry S. Neuman


Whiteford Taylor Preston

Andrew G. Wanger


Clyde & Co.

Britton D. Weimer


Weimer & Weeding

Sandra I. Weishart


Hinshaw & Culbertson

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