Colucci Law Group wants you to keep your company safe during the current emergency. Not everything is as easy as washing your hands, coughing into your elbow, and social distancing. What else can contractors do to keep their companies alive and healthy while we get through this?
As the pandemic expands and more countries are affected, supply chains, shipping, and materials are being affected. Costs could go up, and delays could occur as ports close or quarantine shipments. Already, Amazon and other US shippers are experiencing difficulties with domestic delivery times. Colucci Law Group recommends reviewing any contracts for projects outstanding for some of these clauses:
- Force majeure. Sometimes called “act of God”, these relieve parties of a duty to perform in cases of natural disaster, war, civil disturbance, and other events beyond anyone’s control. In Florida, there may be a separate clause for hurricanes. There is usually not a clause for epidemics but most courts have interpreted force majeure to mean pandemics.
- Supply chain disruptions. Some contracts do include who will be responsible for third-party delays in shipping or delivery; but most contracts between small contractors and single homeowners will not. This is also true as to who will bear the cost if material costs increase.
- Notices of Commencement, permits, inspections. At this time, there has been no stated date or time for a full-scale shutdown, but if there is, permits, NOC’s, and other time-sensitive documents will need to be extended. If you have upcoming NOC’s, or permits that are due to expire soon, proactively taking care of these now will save you trouble later.
- If you are presently negotiating a contract for work to be done, the potential impact of coronavirus or COVID-19 should be included in the body of the contract to allow for the above considerations. This emergency is likely to have ripple effects long after the immediate impact dies away, and businesses must protect themselves.
Finally, Colucci Law Group has a very important recommendation: if you have business interruption insurance, or if you’re unsure if your policy includes it, you may want your policy reviewed by legal counsel. Insurance companies have typically inserted clauses that exempt payment in cases of viral/bacterial epidemics (like COVID-19 or coronavirus), but not always. We are offering a free review of your commercial insurance policy to determine if you have such a clause in your insurance policy and what it means for your business.
At Colucci Law Group, we want to help you and your business survive coronavirus and come out stronger and healthier than ever. Our goal is the same as yours: providing jobs and services to our communities during and after the coronavirus emergency, and rebuilding a stronger society for all. Visit our website or email today, and let us review your policy to make sure it looks just right.