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by Mary Lynne Blaesser
Additional Insured Endorsements Make a Difference.
Hello, all! We're back. Thank you all for your very positive response to our Q & A column
regarding independent contractors and their special insurance needs. Several questions
were generated from the column and since they relate to independent contractors,
let's continue on this topic.
Q. Maureen from Pleasanton wrote: My previous spa owner required that I provide proof of my insurance coverage. The new spa is requiring that they be named on my policy as an "additional insured". What is the difference?
A. Well, Maureen, it seems like your present owner has done her insurance homework, An additional insured endorsement names the spa as just that an
ADDITIONAL INSURED. This means that they have the same coverage under your policy as you have. It also means that if for some reason you cancel your policy, they (the spa owner) would be notified that you no longer have protection. The spa owner will also be protected if you are sued and they are named in the suit. Proof of insurance basically just shows that you (the independent contractor) have purchased a policy but if you cancel your coverage, the spa owner will not be notified. Also, If you are both named in a lawsuit, only you, the named insured will be defended.
Q. If my spa wants to be named as additional insured, is this OK to do?
A. Absolutely! In fact, it is done quite often and spas to protect themselves should require it. Your insurance carrier should be able to provide this for you at
little or no cost.
Q. Is this additional insured endorsement added to my professional Iiabllity only?
A. No, it should be added to your professional liability and your general (trip and fall) liability. We have found that there are more cases of trip and fall type claims brought forward than malpractice claims. Your spa owner needs to be protected. Another common form of additional insured endorsement that you may encounter is in satisfaction of a lease. Many leases require that the landlord be named as an additional insured. This endorsement would apply primarily to the premises (trip and fall) liability. As an independent contractor, if you sub-lease a space, this endorsement may be required. Again, this is common and necessary.
CASE IN POINT
Most of the time, a pedicure seems like a pretty harmless services. This is one time it wasnt! A pedicure client of a San Diego spa developed cellulitis in her leg and was hospitalized for treatment. The source of the infection was traced to a cut she received during the pedicure. The nail technician was sued and spa owner was also sued. Unfortunately, the nail technician had not named the spa owner as an additional insured and the spa owner's policy did not cover any manicure or pedicure services. The policy covering the nail technician responded to her suit, but the spa owner had to hire her own attorney to defend the claim. The resulting lawsuit and settlement, well over $25,000. was paid primarily by the nail technician's policy. The spa owner was held partially responsible since the treatment took place in her facility and had to pay legal fees and a small settlement of $2500. from her own resources.
If you have any questions for spa insurance industry specialists, contact:
Fax: 973 763-1635 Phone: 800 763-4775
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