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Changing weather patterns mean changes in contracts and insurance

At least once in the past year or so, you have probably been surprised by the weather. Temperatures can fluctuate wildly, and rain can be torrential or just enough to be annoying. If you were a meteorologist, you would probably experience frustration at the fact that your job has become more difficult since global weather patterns appear to be changing.

As a construction contractor, you would more than likely feel the same way. Your work often depends on the weather, much more than in most other industries. The weather has probably affected your bottom line on more than one occasion since it's hard to predict, and accounting for it in your contracts has never been more important.

A little research could help

Closely examining the changing weather patterns here in southern California with the latest technology could help provide you with the information you need in order to account for its unpredictability. Creating a formula that helps account for how the weather will affect your workdays can assist you in contract negotiations. For instance, for every inch of rain that falls, you lose a certain amount of productivity, and in the construction business, time is money.

When the temperature rises to a certain point, you cannot feasibly keep your crews working without affording them more breaks in order to ensure their safety from heat-related illnesses. Again, this costs you time and money. No one complains when a project comes in ahead of schedule, but clients do complain when delays extend the time needed to complete it. Factoring in more realistic delays for weather only works if you have the data to back up your need for more time.

Covering losses from weather delays

You may be able to negotiate with the developer and/or property owner when it comes to covering the costs associated with weather delays. However, they are going to need reliable data and other information to substantiate taking on part or all of the weather-related losses a project may experience. If successful, nature may not make your business sustain substantial losses. You may still lose some money, but sharing the risk with the other party would help.

If the other party refuses to share in the risk of weather delays, you may turn to a recent insurance development called parametric coverage. It functions somewhat like business interruption insurance, but you don't necessarily need to experience a loss in order to file a claim.

Working with the right support

Your construction contracts are the lifeblood of your business. Without a good contract, you could end up facing significant financial losses on a project. Factoring in weather delays into your contracts is never an exact science, but the more wiggle room you have, the better off everyone will be over the life of the project.

Working with an experienced construction law attorney could help you find the solutions you need in order to adequately deal with the one delay no one can predict months or years in advance -- the weather. However, you can adequately cover this topic in your contracts with the right help.

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Retz & Aldover LLP

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Retz & Aldover LLP
2550 Vía Tejon
Suite 3A
Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274

Phone: 424-282-3467
Phone: 310-540-9800
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