The Risks of Insuring Construction Technology

2017 ended with the construction industry firing on all cylinders. For the first time in more than a decade, the overall industry is optimistic that the construction marketplace will continue to expand.

With an increase in demand and shortage of skilled laborers, construction companies are turning to technology more than ever before to improve safety and increase productivity. The adoption of new technology has brought to light a few inherent risks and additional liability to some construction companies.

Here are just a couple industry advancements and potential implications to be aware of.

Autonomous Vehicles

While there is still some more testing and tweaking to be done, autonomous vehicles will be a key disruptor for several industries. What does that mean for construction?

Well, for one, autonomous construction vehicles will be able to conduct work that is dangerous, repetitive, or both while increasing productivity. By automating more simple, repetitive tasks, skilled workers are given greater flexibility on the jobsite.

Safer, more productive work zones are great for minimizing workplace injury and maximizing bottom line, but leave construction companies with additional liability and security risks. What happens if a vehicle is hacked or the technology malfunctions? Insurance carriers are currently reviewing both auto and cyber liability policies to better address these emerging risks.

Drones

During the last few years, drones have become an industry mainstay. Drones allow construction companies to not only keep a larger eye on worksites, but avoid sending workers into dangerous situations by using a drone to take pictures in hard to reach or small spaces instead.

These small aerial vehicles raise huge red flags to the insurance industry—personal injury and invasion of privacy. In addition, with the ability to collect massive amounts of unsolicited data, drones present an enormous threat to individual privacy.

Other technologies include tower crane cameras, prevention thru design, wearables, personal driving cameras, security cameras, and telematic devices. As your construction company adds any new technology into its practices, it is important to check up any legal or insurance implications to ensure it remains a profitable, productive tool.

Michael Alberico is a senior vice president and construction practice leader at Assurance.




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