Theft On Your Construction Site Can Create Huge Problems
Construction sites are wide open areas. There are often few if any video cameras, and you are not working in a closed area, the way you would be in a typical closed office space. That opens the door to theft on the construction site, a problem that can lead to serious problems and delays in your project.
Insurance for Theft Losses
There is insurance to cover you in the event of a theft or other crime which affects your property. However, making insurance claims can create problems of their own.
One problem is that your premium will likely increase. And even if the loss is covered, that only covers the loss of the actual property—it doesn’t cover other, consequential damages, or damages (like the costs of delays) that result because of the theft.
This is why contractors need to think about making insurance claims, and perhaps only make them for larger losses, where simply absorbing the loss without insurance is impracticable.
Theft also can seriously delay a project, depending on what is stolen. A cheap stolen item may be affordable to replace—but if it takes time to replace it, your whole project can slow down, and you could end up in breach of your construction contracts.
Before your project starts, you may want to build in exceptions to time frames, to account for theft or criminal activity, which could slow down completion of your project.
Replacing Stolen Items
Replacement costs can also increase. Let’s say that the item or object stolen was affordable when you bought it. It may not be affordable now. That can lead to an increased cost in the completion of your project, thus eating into your available profits.
The slowdown in completion of a project because of theft, can also lead to a slowdown in your payment, if your project is based on periodic payments based on reaching certain construction milestones. Everything then dominoes—you can’t get paid, then you can’t pay subcontractors, and everything falls apart.
Certainly nobody can ensure, to 100% certainty, that theft on a construction site won’t happen. But you can do some things to minimize the risk of theft.
One thing you can do is to conduct background checks and pre-qualification checks of contractors on the job site. Stay away from contractors and subcontractors that have criminal histories.
To the extent possible, physical security can be used. Certainly, smaller items that can be locked up, should be locked up. Larger items should be inventoried daily, to ensure that if there is a theft, that you know about it immediately.
Everybody on the site should understand that construction related supplies are not for personal use—even if it looks like “garbage,” such as a piece of wood on the ground, or a package of half used screws.
Our Fort Lauderdale construction attorneys at Sweeney Law P.A. at 954 440-3993 can help you with your construction law project, and keep your company out of legal trouble.