A federal court in Louisiana denied a subcontractor’s coverage action against Ace Insurance because the subcontractor did not enroll in the Contractor Controlled Insurance Program. The case is Williams v. Traylor-Massman-Weeks, LLC, et al., EDLA No. 10-2309 and you can look at the pdf of the opinion here: Williams v. Traylor-Massman-Weeks.pdf
The Corps of Engineers entered into a contract with Shaw, which had a Contractor Controlled Insurance Program (known as a “CCIP” which is a type of “wrap up” because its “wraps up” various types of insurance into one place. Shaw entered into a contract with Eustis and at the time, Shaw planned to sponsor a CCIP, but had not created it yet. So, Shaw’s subcontract directed Eustis to enroll — presumably when the CCIP was created.
The trouble was, Eustis didn’t enroll. And wouldn’t you know it, of all the projects where they forgot to enroll in the CCIP, that was the one where they had a lawsuit? Eustis came up with several creative theories for coverage, but couldn’t escape its fundamental problem: It simply didn’t enroll in the CCIP.
Aside from the obvious lesson here — if you are a potential enrollee on a wrap up, make sure you have actually enrolled — there are other less obvious lessons. If you sponsor a CCIP, do two things: (a) try to make sure your subs get their paper work in; and (b) structure your contracts so that if they don’t, the risk to you is minimized.