The COVID-19 outbreak has emphasised the importance of Force Majeure provisions in contracts and defining your obligations in respect of the performance of a contract.
Force majeure provisions appear in many contracts as standard it is important to check your obligations under this clause and if an agreement does not include this provision you should look to include this and indeed include one within you standard contracts or service agreements.
Whilst the inclusion and wording of such clauses are important across a wide range of industry and businesses, these clauses are particularly important in the construction industry, design professionals and generally amongst those providing professional services. This especially true where an inability to deliver on your part can lead to a much broader stoppage or interruption to a larger project.
Developing you own agreements and contracts is a matter for your and your legal representatives perhaps working within the framework of industry standard contracts but Beazley one of our partner insurers in professional risks insurance have provided what they consider to be the suggested language of such a clause that you may wish to consider.
“The Design Professional shall not be responsible for delays caused by factors beyond the Design Professional’s reasonable control, including but not limited to delays because of strikes, lockouts, work slowdowns or stoppages, government ordered industry shutdowns, power or server outages, acts of nature, widespread infectious disease outbreaks (including, but not limited to epidemics and pandemics), failure of any governmental or other regulatory authority to act in a timely manner, failure of the Client to furnish timely information or approve or disapprove of the Design Professional’s services or work product, or delays caused by faulty performance by the Client’s or by contractors of any level. When such delays beyond the Design Professional’s reasonable control occur, the Client agrees that the Design Professional shall not be responsible for damages, nor shall the Design Professional be deemed in default of this Agreement.”
If you require any further information regarding how this may impact on your insurance, please contact us directly on 0161 300 2930.