Contractors’ Series: Part 1–Understanding an Insured’s Contract


Whether dealing with General Contractors or Subcontractors, insurance can be extremely complicated. From the contract to the coverage, getting it right the first time will help properly protect your insured and reduce your E&O exposure. 

In this four-part podcast series, Jay Williams, Director of Faculty Development spends time discussing this complex transaction with Cathy Trischan and Allen Messer. Cathy and Allen discuss the importance of reading the contracts your insured encounters before they sign them.  

Part 1: Understanding an Insured’s Contract

Part 2: Additional Insureds and Certificates of Insurance

Part 3: Contractors and the Commercial General Liability

Part 4: Property Coverage for Contractors

This podcast series only begins to scratch the surface when it comes to insuring construction risks. Learn more and attend the PROFocus Contractors course!

Allen Messer, CIC, CPCU

Allen Messer brings technical skill, initiative, and experience to bear on the complex problems of insurance and risk management.  He began his insurance career in March of 1971.  He has worked for several different insurance companies in various capacities and has been involved in the independent agency system as a producer and agency owner.

Allen currently consults agencies, companies, risk managers, and attorneys as well as instructs various seminars and live webinars.  He earned his CPCU designation in 1981 where he received the Distinguished Graduate Award for attaining the highest academic average in the Nation.  He earned his CIC designation in 1977 and serves as an Educational Consultant and is a National Faculty member of The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research.

Cathy Trischan, CIC, CRM, CPCU

Cathy Trischan has been with the E&K Insurance Group in Eatontown, New Jersey since 1996, and currently serves as Director of Commercial Underwriting.   She began her insurance career upon graduation from Rutgers University in 1987.  She has worked as a claims adjuster for a major property and casualty carrier as well as in the commercial departments of several New Jersey agencies.  

In addition to her work with E&K, Cathy provides education and consulting services to other agents and brokers.  She is a National Faculty member of The National Alliance, speaking in the CIC, CISR and Ruble programs.  She also serves as a mentor for new CIC and CISR faculty.  Cathy is a regular presenter for various agents’ associations and other organizations and has taught both pre-licensing and continuing education courses.  She has written courses and articles on various insurance topics.  

A firm believer that one should never stop learning, Cathy holds several professional designations including CIC, CRM and CPCU.  


Jay Williams is the Director of Faculty Development, a National Faculty Member, and an Educational Consultant for The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research. He earned his CIC designation in 1996 and his CRM designation in 2004.  He is a veteran of the insurance industry, starting his career in 1979. His experience includes 21 years in the agency business, nine years at the Florida Association of Insurance Agents, and seven years as an insurance company and PEO executive. Jay also served as the interim CEO for Applied Client Network, the user-group association for agents using Applied Systems platforms.

Jay has been teaching formal insurance classes for over 20 years, including both technical insurance and E&O loss control classes for FAIA. He was part of the IIABA Loss Control Working Group for 5 years and also served on the Professional Liability Committee.

His experience on the agency, association, and company sides gives Jay a uniquely rounded perspective on the insurance industry. His most recent position was the CEO of a construction risk wholesale operation. In addition to his work as an insurance educator, Jay serves as an expert witness, a consultant to insurance companies, associations, agencies, and industry-related partners, and an E&O auditor.

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