Product Family
Janelle Levesque, AXA XL


Senior Underwriter, Inland Marine, AXA XL

On November 15th, President Biden signed into law a $1 trillion plan to rebuild roads and bridges, modernize public works systems and boost broadband internet, among other major improvements to the nation's infrastructure.

The Midwest will benefit greatly from this historic law. There are plans to bring rail service through central Ohio. The State of Indiana estimates that about $8.8 billion would be spent there. These funds include almost $7 billion for roads, $401 million for bridge replacement and repair, $682 million for public transportation, $751 million for water systems, among other allotments. An estimated 2,374 bridges and over 6,218 miles of highway are in poor condition in Illinois. Over the next five years, because of the bill’s funding, the state expects $9.8 billion for federal highway projects, $1.4 billion for bridge replacement and repairs, and another $4 billion to improve public transportation options across the state.

That’s not all on the horizon for Midwest contractors. Chicago is continuing an industrial growth streak that is spilling over into other Midwest markets. According to the recent CBRE Q2 2021 research, industrial construction progresses at a strong pace. Chicago, Indianapolis, and Columbus are among the top Midwest markets for buildings under construction.

Contractors eager to capitalize on these new construction opportunities should be equally as eager to ensure they have the right insurance coverage.

Fortunately, a competitive inland marine insurance market is helping address contractors’ standard and unique property insurance needs. Inland Marine Insurance generally covers property that is not tied to a fixed location such as tools, equipment, and other assets. Coverages such as Contractor’s Equipment insurance and Builder’s Risk address exposures that aren’t covered under a standard commercial property policy.

Keeping a careful eye on equipment
To get the job done, contractors rely on a wide range of equipment – from heavy equipment like backhoes and cranes to hand tools and computers. Given current supply chain disruptions, equipment safeguards and protection are at the top of their priority list. If a backhoe is stolen, for example, it could be a while before another could be procured, resulting in unexpected rental expenses.

According to the National Equipment Register and National Insurance Crime Bureau, the annual cost of equipment theft at construction jobsites averages $400 million. To protect themselves against theft and other potential risks to their equipment, contractors should purchase Contractors’ Equipment Coverage.

AXA XL, we’ve developed Contractor’s Equipment Solutions, which is broader than the industry standard and includes 33 additional coverages.

While a number of insurance carriers offer Contractor’s Equipment Coverage, at AXA XL, we’ve developed Contractor’s Equipment Solutions, which is broader than the industry standard and includes 33 additional coverages. Contractors need just one policy to keep their equipment and ancillary business personal property protected, encompassing everything from computers and data to drones and heavier equipment like forklifts and graders.

Such broad coverage also helps contractors reduce the administrative burden of ensuring seamless coverage. It also makes filing a claim easier in the event of a loss. The claim process generally will be the same no matter where the property was damaged.

Specialized for specialty equipment
Today contractors utilize a much wider range of sophisticated equipment to get a job done. For example, drones are now commonplace in the construction business, but are seldom insured in Contractor’s Equipment policies. Along with specialized equipment comes escalating costs of repair or replacement. AXA XL’s Contractor’s Equipment Solutions addresses these new coverage needs and more. Another key difference lies in coverage for “property that supports your business”. This broad coverage protects business personal property (BPP) as well as other property, such as Computer Equipment, Media and Data.

The inclusion of coverage for riggers’ legal liability also rounds out a product designed to address the realities of the job site. The process of securing a crane and rigging equipment is typically not an easy or fast one. To get multiple cranes onsite and have more than one operating at a time - depending on the size of the site - could pose unnecessary safety hazards or potentially slow down the project’s progress.

It’s not uncommon for one subcontractor to borrow another’s rig or ask for help hoisting something. And most contractors won’t think to say “no” due to insurance reasons. The priority is getting work done efficiently. Any damage incurred in that process, however, would not normally be covered under a commercial general liability policy, which excludes coverage for another party’s property while it is in the insured’s care, custody, or control. Carriers may add riggers’ legal liability to CGL policies via endorsement, but AXA XL’s Contractor’s Equipment Coverage Solutions affirmatively covers this risk in its policy form. This allows contractors to focus more on the task at hand and worry less about the boundaries of liability. More importantly, it allows for the collaboration on the job site that is necessary to keep projects moving forward.

Another area of importance to contractors includes transporting equipment of others and coverage for leased, borrowed, or rented equipment. Specialized exposures, which can be insured by endorsement, include equipment rental and sales, and equipment breakdown.

Course of construction protection
AXA XL takes a similar, comprehensive approach in helping general contractors, owners, developers, and specialty trade contractors protect properties under the course of construction. Containing more than two dozen coverage enhancements, AXA XL’s Builder’s Risk and Installation Coverage Solutions or BRICS, offers expansive inland marine insurance protection for single projects or multiple jobsites. The policy insures a wide variety of projects under construction, including commercial, industrial, residential, and agricultural buildings and structures; infrastructure; and subcontracted work.

Through endorsements, BRICS is tailored to meet contractors’ specific project needs:

  • Contingent and Difference in Conditions
  • Existing Buildings or Structures
  • Soft Costs, Business Income and Extra Expense
  • Equipment Breakdown
  • Flood, Earthquake and Volcanic Eruption

There are also a host of other tailored coverages to cover potential additional expenses. For instance, coverage is available to address fire department services charges that an insured may occur. Fire is one of the biggest risks to buildings under construction. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 3,840 fires in structures under construction and 2,580 fires in structures under major renovation per year in 2013-2017.

Other coverages included at no additional premium for standard limits are:

  • Debris Removal
  • Extra and Expediting Expense
  • Increase in Construction Costs for labor, materials, supplies, equipment, or change orders incurred to repair or replace
  • Landscaping and Signs

Optimized for opportunities
Success is said to be the place where preparation and opportunity meet. With the passage of a historic Infrastructure plan and construction in the Midwest region already building momentum, there will be opportunities. The contractors that prepare for the risks that accompany this opportunity with comprehensive insurance protection are on the best path to succeed. And, fortunately for them, there’s robust inland marine insurance coverage available from AXA XL to protect their property, their equipment, and their unique opportunities.

With all of the opportunities discussed, now is the time to work together to rebuild our valuable infrastructure in the Midwest.


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Global Asset Protection Services, LLC, and its affiliates (“AXA XL Risk Consulting”) provides risk assessment reports and other loss prevention services, as requested. In this respect, our property loss prevention publications, services, and surveys do not address life safety or third party liability issues. This document shall not be construed as indicating the existence or availability under any policy of coverage for any particular type of loss or damage. The provision of any service does not imply that every possible hazard has been identified at a facility or that no other hazards exist. AXA XL Risk Consulting does not assume, and shall have no liability for the control, correction, continuation or modification of any existing conditions or operations. We specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that compliance with any advice or recommendation in any document or other communication will make a facility or operation safe or healthful, or put it in compliance with any standard, code, law, rule or regulation. Save where expressly agreed in writing, AXA XL Risk Consulting and its related and affiliated companies disclaim all liability for loss or damage suffered by any party arising out of or in connection with our services, including indirect or consequential loss or damage, howsoever arising. Any party who chooses to rely in any way on the contents of this document does so at their own risk.

US- and Canada-Issued Insurance Policies

In the US, the AXA XL insurance companies are: AXA Insurance Company, Catlin Insurance Company, Inc., Greenwich Insurance Company, Indian Harbor Insurance Company, XL Insurance America, Inc., XL Specialty Insurance Company and T.H.E. Insurance Company. In Canada, coverages are underwritten by XL Specialty Insurance Company - Canadian Branch and AXA Insurance Company - Canadian branch. Coverages may also be underwritten by Lloyd’s Syndicate #2003. Coverages underwritten by Lloyd’s Syndicate #2003 are placed on behalf of the member of Syndicate #2003 by Catlin Canada Inc. Lloyd’s ratings are independent of AXA XL.
US domiciled insurance policies can be written by the following AXA XL surplus lines insurers: XL Catlin Insurance Company UK Limited, Syndicates managed by Catlin Underwriting Agencies Limited and Indian Harbor Insurance Company. Enquires from US residents should be directed to a local insurance agent or broker permitted to write business in the relevant state.