A construction company held a Contract Works Insurance Policy for the construction of a house.  During construction the roof was damaged by a subcontractor installing weatherboards. The subcontractor neglected to protect the roof while its employees used it to gain access for the installation of the weatherboards.

The Contract Works Policy had an exclusion for defective workmanship.  It was part of the subcontractors work to protect the roof while installing the weatherboards and as they failed to do that, this amounted to defective workmanship and was excluded from the policy.

The construction contractors would have to bring a claim against the subcontractor directly for negligence in the performance of their part of the contract or for breach of contract for not protecting the roof while they were accessing it to perform their work on the weatherboards. A much more expensive exercise than just making an insurance claim.

Alan Knowsley

Insurance Lawyer