Legislation introduced would protect DC homeowners from construction-related damage

Legislation introduced by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser would require special liability coverage protecting District homeowners from construction-related damage caused by neighboring projects.

Download the FOX 5 DC News App for Local Breaking News and Weather

The "Protecting Adjacent and Adjoining Property Owners from Construction Damage Amendment Act of 2022" would require property owners, contractors, or persons applying for a permit for construction or demolition work to obtain liability insurance to insure adjacent and adjoining property owners for loss or damage arising out of that work, a press release from the mayor's office says.

"Homeownership is critical for helping residents stay and build wealth in the District, and this legislation will add to our toolkit of resources that support homeowners in maintaining and protecting their homes," said Mayor Bowser said in a statement released this week. "With the Insurance Education Center, we also have another tool for helping residents and local businesses navigate a complex system so that they can stay educated, informed, and insured."

Contractors are required to provide proof of liability insurance before they're issued a license under current law and building codes in the District require contractors and building owners to take precautions to prevent damage to adjoining buildings during construction work.


However, the mayor's office says, no requirements exist to obtain liability insurance coverage for adjacent or adjoining properties.

"Once enacted, this proposed legislation will close gaps in insurance requirements and provide coverage for adjoining and adjacent District homeowners negatively impacted by damage during construction, addition, alteration, repair, demolition or raze," said Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Director Ernest Chrappah in a press release. "Under the leadership of Mayor Bowser, this new initiative builds on DCRA's multiple platforms designed to help protect residents, such as the DCRA Contractor Rating System; Scout, the online consolidated database for property information; and now, the Insurance Education Center."