Recently, one of our manufactured home retailers sold a home and hired a contractor to transport and install the home on the home-buyer’s property. The home buyer wanted his new manufactured home set where his current site built house sat. The contractor was hired to move the site built house to another location on his property. He hadn’t moved the home 100′ when it began to crumble. Eventually, the house caved in. The site-built home owner is now demanding compensation from the retailer for the value of the damage sire built home.
The retailer did three smart things prior to the home being damaged. First, he had the contractor provide him with a Certificate of Insurance proving the contractor carried general liability insurance. Second, he had the contractor sign a written performance agreement that required the contractor to defend and indemnify him in the event the contractor’s work caused a problem for which the retailer was sued. And third, the retailer carried his own general liability insurance.
The retailer would be in an even better position if he’d done three other things. First, if he would have demanded the contractor inspect the frame home prior to moving it to determine if it was movable, he might have avoided the problem. Second, he should have used a “Transporter Installer Performance Agreement”. It includes more contractual language that would have put him in a stronger position. And third, he should have demanded that the contractor name him as an “Additional Insured” on the contractor’s insurance policies. That would have given him direct access to defense and indemnification from the contractor’s insurance company.