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The Contractor Coaching Partnership Blog

Will insurance companies force contractors to be RRP Certified?

Posted by Mark Paskell on Sun, May 23, 2010 @ 09:09 PM

As The Contractor Coaching Partnership marches on to providing training for 3000 contractors we are often asked if we know what insurance companies are going to do. Will they provide cost effective pricing to cover contractors for lead? Will they require specific certification and or training in order to qualify for coverage? Will EPA RRP Certification be required in order to qualify for general liability coverage?

I was concerned about this earlier this year and asked some insurance experts and they assured me it would likely not be a requirement. They said it would likely be a choice and the insurance industry will produce a policy that will be priced in the 2500.00 dollar range for RRP coverage. There is a policy on the market now in that price range.

I was skeptical that RRP coverage would not be required to qualify for general liabilty. Now it appears that we thought correctly. The following excerpt from an EPA representative may be be the harbinger of what contractors will face in a few months. 

On Friday I received an email from a training provider in Texas. This email is from an EPA official from region 6 in Dallas. It also includes an interpretation of concerns between OSHA and RRP when setting a ladder on plastic. I will post the entire email and source here and let the readers of this blog draw their own conclusions. My conclusion is that insurance companies are going to demand that contractors are EPA RRP Certified Firms, employ certified renovators and that all sub contractors are certified. This will be very similar to the requirement that all subs carry workmen's compensation. I also believe that there is a better than average chance that insurance companies will cancel non-EPA Certified contractors who work on pre 1978 properties. Maybe this is a way that insurance companies can charge for more coverage?

Here is the email from; Estella Sugawara-Adams, M.S. Region 6 EPA

Thank you to every R6 Trainer Provider who added extra classes to meet the April 22nd deadline. I know that you all can cite the Instructor's Manual in your sleep!  The Region 6, Dallas office, owes you a huge THANK YOU!  

I have a request for everyone that involves purchasing supplies, brochures, tips and complaints.  Please, if possible, include in your training packet the name(s) of the company(ies) where the weatherization tape, yellow caution tape, Renovate Right Brochures, rolls of 6ml plastic etc., can be purchased. Some folks have never heard of "Google" or finding information on the web!
The "Lead-Check" company is really overwhelmed trying to fill requests for test kits.  Please remind your students that the new regulatory provision on the test kits will change in September 2010 - so don't over purchase the current test kits.

I would like for you all to include my name, telephone number and email address, for sending complaints, tips, etc. It is really important that your students know their efforts to obey the law is not being overlooked.
If you receive tips and/or complaints, about companies advertising as Certified EPA Trainer Providers, please let me know.  To date, we have caught two companies that were advertising as EPA Certified Trainer Providers and told the students they are now certified.  Unfortunately, the students never received their Certificates, and the companies are shams.

(Insurance Companies Dictating The Rules)

Insurance companies are requesting a copy of the Renovator Certificates, Firm Certificates and when training was completed. If the Certificates are not sent (faxed) to the insurance company, then the employees are let go and/or the Firm is dropped from coverage.  This is something that was launched by the Insurance companies, and we do not have control over their efforts to bring their industry into compliance.  A temporary card or signed letter (complete with date of training) on company Letterhead, would help your students tremendously.

(OSHA Interpretation)

Finally, I have been notified of several areas where the new regulation is in direct conflict with OSHA. Actually, it is not in conflict. The most serious is the slippery surface, we require that plastic must cover the ground, and the contractor must use   a ladder on the plastic, while keeping the surface of the plastic sprayed to contain the lead dust.  This is what OSHA requires:
The OSHA regulations don't say that you can't put a ladder on plastic.  It says that if you put it on a slippery surface, then you should secure it or use slip resistant feet.  The ladder regulations are at 29 CFR 1926.1053(b)(5)(ii) -(b)(7)

I will be setting up meetings with the Trainer Providers in May/June, so that we can review some of the areas that need improving, the 4-hour Refresher course, and any other topics that you may want to discuss.

Again, thank you.

Estella Sugawara-Adams, M.S.
Regional Lead (Pb) Coordinator
U.S. EPA, Region 6
214-665-2704 (Direct)
214-665-6655 (Fax)

Here is one last question before I sign off.

If insurance companies follow through on requiring that all contractors become EPA RRP certified what will this mean for our industry, the average contractor and you?

mark the coach

The Contractor Coaching Partnership


Tags: coaching, contractors, epa rrp training, mass