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Q.Given the recent spate of mold-related lawsuits covered in the news media, is there an affordable insurance coverage that can protect general contractors from liability on this issue?

A.Steve Williams, senior vice president with Heffernan Insurance Brokers in San Francisco, Calif., responds: Claims against contractors brought by those who suffer from mold ailments are severe and costly. Fortunately, there are affordable insurance coverages available to contractors to protect them against such claims.

Before seeking out a new policy or coverage plan, contractors should review their current insurance policy to determine if they are covered against mold claims. Commercial liability policies that have covered mold claims in the past, when they’re renewed, may exclude mold, so GCs should be alert.

If your policy does not cover such claims, seek out one that does, such as a pollution policy. In the past, the premiums for such policies ranged from $10,000 to $25,000 per year, but they are now much lower. Our company, for example, offers an exclusive pollution policy for contractors, with premiums starting at $2,500 for a $1,000,000 limit.