Last week we talked about So-Deep adding an in-house professional surveyor (Mike Fisher) for in-house surveying and a professional engineer (Lou Ostendorff) to seal their deliverables to clients. These were both major advancements, but So-Deep was not through. Jim Anspach helped me with the following and this is what he had to say relative to: PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE.
“It was virtually impossible for So-Deep to remain self-insured when performing millions of dollars’ worth of what had been ruled professional services, and professional liability insurance proved difficult to get when one was doing what had never been done before. No insurance company was willing to take on the ‘designating’ aspect of SUE, just the traditional survey of the designating. So-Deep even went to Lloyds of London to make the attempt. Finally, CNA insurance stepped up and stated that if So-Deep was willing to pay for one of CNA’s executives to observe every aspect of field and office operations for a period of time (it lasted more than a month) and if So-Deep’s designating services were deemed “insurable” after that evaluation, CNA would offer professional liability insurance for the entire package of what So-Deep was offering. Thus, in 1988, CNA insurance company issued a professional liability policy to So-Deep that covered all aspects of its operation, not just the survey aspects. This was the culmination of years of effort by So-Deep’s General Counsel, Harley A.J. “Bucky” Methfessel. By having this insurance, So-Deep was able to cover negligent errors or omissions in their services that could result in project delay claims, redesign costs, extra work order claims…more than just covering the cost of repairs if a utility was damaged during construction. Years of successful operations without claims from So-Deep set the stage for other insurance companies to provide similar coverage to the newer SUE firms that in a few years would be entering the market.”
There is still lots about SUE left from the late 1980s — more So-Deep contributions, new providers of SUE services, new DOTs using SUE, and enhanced designating and locating equipment. Even so, we will leave the 1980s for now, but will look all these things later in conjunction with things happening in the 1990s.
NEXT WEEK –
HOW DID SUBSURFACE UTILITY ENGINEERING GET ITS NAME?