Contractors are in a wilderness of litigation and rising
insurance premiums. And one reason is certain attorneys, always
hunting new sources of revenue, have set their sights on the
nation's construction industry. With annual revenues of $750
billion, 5 percent of the total U.S. work force and nearly 500,000
firms, the construction industry is simply too large a target to
Unfortunately, the media and federal and state governments have
paid little attention to the construction industry's predicament. A
dramatic increase in construction litigation, coupled with an
insurance market hit hard by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, has
landed the construction industry in rough territory. Insurance
premiums have skyrocketed, and availability has dwindled.
To help quantify and shine some light on the problem, The
Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress teamed with the Electrical
Contracting Foundation and other groups to fund a study that would
assess construction litigation and its effect on the availability
of reasonable insurance coverage. In August, Ducker Worldwide,
Bloomfield Hills, Mich., released the study, "The Contractor
Liability Insurance Cost and Coverage Problem—Solutions to
Improve," and the findings confirm the pernicious influence of tort
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