New ways to find holiday deals on Google

New ways to find holiday deals on Google | Nov 01, 2022 | Shashi Thakur, VP/GM, Consumer Shopping | Holiday Deals | Home Insurance

Find the best holiday deals on Google with new features like promotion badges, coupon clipping, deals comparisons, and price insights.

The holiday season is upon us, and many are already getting into the (shopping) spirit. Holiday Deals are particularly top of mind this year: Among Americans planning to shop for the holidays, 43% are planning to look for deals and sales more than last year.1 So we’re sharing a few new features to help you easily find those discounts and get the perfect gift at the right price.

New labels for coupons and promotions

Coupon codes are a great way to save, but finding them — and making sure they work — can be challenging. To help shoppers save money and time, we’re bringing promotions front and center in product searches.

A mobile search for “shop holiday party dresses” loads colorful results. The screen scrolls down to a red dress option with a special offer label, clicks the item and copies a coupon code.

Our new promotion badge will show up in Search on items running a promotion (like “15% off with coupon code HOLIDAYS”). While in the past we’ve shown when items are on sale or the price has dropped, you can now see specific promotions and compare them to others right in Search.

We’re also adding a new coupon clipping feature, which allows you to easily copy promo codes when you’re ready to buy. These new features will roll out in the coming weeks.

Compare holiday deals side by side

For the past year, more than half of U.S. shoppers have visited multiple websites before settling on what and where to buy.2 We’re bringing you a new, easy way to cut down on all that research time and compare shopping deals across retailers.

A mobile search for “shop women’s puffer jackets” scrolls down to a section labeled “deals” showing products with discounted prices from various merchants.

If you search for a women’s puffer coat, for example, we’ll show you a side-by-side comparison of available puffer coat deals right in your results. This new view will roll out in the U.S. this month, just in time for the holidays.

Get price insights

While it’s easy to get enticed by holiday sales, it can be hard to tell whether something is a good value. So we’re bringing our price insights feature to Search to help shoppers understand the prices they see and make better buying decisions. Now, you’ll quickly see how one merchant’s price compares to others’ and whether it’s low, typical, or high for that product.

A mobile search for “shop speaker jbl tune 130nc” shows results for speakers. It scrolls down to an “online stores” section, where the color “white” is selected from a drop-down menu and a graph shows different price ranges.

And merchants, don’t forget you can always see how your deals are performing and review your business’ promotions wherever you manage your product listings on Google.

These new features will make it easier to find great prices and check everything off your list this season.

And even more great ideas…

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Year-end financial checklist

Year-end Financial Checklist

US | October 11, 2022 | Shield Life Insurance | Financial Checklist

An end-of-the-year financial checklist is a good opportunity to make sure you’re still on track toward your financial goals. 

Sometimes it feels like a year can disappear in the blink of an eye. When you look back over the previous 12 months, you might be surprised at what may have changed for you, whether that’s in terms of the economy at large, your individual finances, or your personal circumstances.

That’s why the end of the year is a good time to review your accounts and investments and make smart adjustments for the new year. Also, with tax season around the corner, reviewing your portfolio and personal finances now could potentially help reduce your tax liability.

Use this year-end financial checklist as a guide.

1. Review your financial plan

Think about what you spent money on this year, and how much. Whether it was home improvements, a vacation, or boosting a loved one’s college savings, did you achieve your family’s financial goals? Or did you put some on hold in favor of other priorities that came up during the year? Do you foresee having to make any large purchases in the next year?

Also, consider what changed in your life this year. Births, deaths, marriage, divorce, and retirement can all have an impact on both your personal finances and your strategic financial plan.

Financial planning tips

  • Be honest with yourself. If money was tight, or if you had a surplus, this is a good time to adjust your spending and priorities.
  • Use a financial professional as a sounding board. An outside perspective is helpful when reviewing short- and long-term family financial goals. A financial professional might be able to make suggestions you haven’t thought about. 

2. Review your employee benefits

It’s tempting to just keep your employee benefits humming along in the background, but reviewing them yearly can make a big difference. Look at your employer-sponsored 401(k) or IRA account contributions for the year. Did you max out your contributions? If not, did you at least contribute as much as the company match?

For the 2022 tax year, the maximum 401(k) contribution is $20,500, plus an additional $6,500 if you’re 50+. The maximum IRA contribution is $6,000, plus $1,000 if you’re 50+. If you’re not maxing out your contribution, consider at least increasing it on an annual basis.

Don’t forget to pay attention to your allocations. Are you happy with the ratio of stocks, bonds and other assets, or do you need to rebalance?

Other employee benefits to review and adjust—with a financial professional, if you like—include corporate stock options and other incentive plans (restricted stock, restricted award units, etc.); health, life and disability insurance coverage; and your flexible spending account (FSA).

And don’t forget your health spending account (HSA), if you have one. For the 2022 tax year, the maximum HSA contributions are $3,650 for individuals, $7,300 for families, and an additional $1,000 for individuals age 55+.

Finally, are your beneficiaries up to date? Can you also designate a successor beneficiary? You work hard for your employees’ benefits, so be sure they end up where you want them.

Employee benefit tips

  • Calculate your remaining health insurance deductible. Can you accelerate or postpone medical treatments?
  • Use up your FSA. There are some qualified products you may not have thought of, from contact lens solution to bandages, that you can purchase with those funds.

3. Conduct a year-end tax review

Tax Day might not be until April 15, but it’s always a good idea to get a head start on preparation. For example, did you experience any life transitions (marriage, births, divorce, deaths, retirement, etc.) in the last year that could affect your tax withholding status?

Based on your anticipated income for next year, would deferring or accelerating any bonuses, property sales, other taxable transactions, deductible expenses, charitable gifts, etc., benefit you from a tax perspective? A financial professional can help you review your options.

Tax review tip

  • Explore tax loss harvesting. If you had investments that lost money, tax loss harvesting can help you reduce your tax liability. There are strict rules around how this is executed, so to avoid potential penalties, consider talking to a financial or tax professional before using this strategy.

4. Assess your investments

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Can I get Health Insurance with Pre-existing Conditions?

Can I get Health Insurance with Pre-existing Conditions?

Health Insurance | Over 65? Click here

Many people wouldn’t be able to afford healthcare if they had to pay for it out of pocket. This is one of the many reasons why health insurance is a wise investment. Our team of insurance experts at Shield Insurance Agency is dedicated to helping Michigan residents understand the benefits of health insurance.     

What is Health Insurance?

In short, health insurance helps you pay for your healthcare. Your health insurance will pay for a portion of your healthcare costs or all of the costs after you pay a monthly premium.

Can I get Health Insurance with Pre-existing Conditions?

As a result of the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies can’t deny a person coverage based on their pre-existing health condition. A pre-existing condition is a health issue that was present before you got healthcare coverage. Health insurance companies aren’t allowed to deny you coverage based on a pre-existing condition.

They’re also not allowed to charge you more as a result of any prior/ pre-existing health issues. Many health insurance companies consider many common chronic ailments as pre-existing conditions. A person with cancer, diabetes, asthma, and more, would be examples of pre-existing conditions. Even pregnancy can be considered a pre-existing condition. Health insurance companies aren’t allowed to discriminate against people who have these pre-existing conditions and more. 


If you enrolled in your healthcare plan prior to the Affordable Health Insurance Act, you have a grandfathered plan. This means that your insurance policy can still cancel your policy or raise your rates due to a pre-existing condition. However, our team is committed to answering your healthcare questions and getting the coverage you need.

Contact Us Today

We at Shield Insurance Agency are standing by to serve Michigan residents. If you are enrolled in a plan that started before 2010, you have a “grandfathered plan”. These plans can cancel your coverage or can charge you higher rates due to a pre-existing condition.

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How to Turn Holiday Shoppers into Year-Round Customers

How to Turn Holiday Shoppers into Year-Round Customers | By Elizabeth FelsNovember 1, 2022 | Holiday Shoppers | Auto Insurance

Right now your holiday shoppers are visiting your website, social media pages, and store. In just a few short weeks, though, the holiday shopping will be over, but you can get those holiday shoppers back and turn them into loyal, year-round customers with these tips.

For many retail and specialty shops, the mad shopping scramble that erupts in November shortly before Black Friday and continues throughout the holiday season leaves the business owner little time to focus on anything other than managing employee schedules, keeping the shelves stocked and neat, and helping customers find and buy the things they want. The objective, of course, is to do as much business as possible while customers are in the mood to spend and have a deadline to complete their purchases.

But if your only focus during the holidays is on getting customers to buy now, you’re missing an opportunity to make your business more profitable throughout the entire year. In addition to encouraging people to buy now, your holiday efforts should include strategies to get those shoppers to come back repeatedly after the holidays are over. Here are several tips for accomplishing that goal.

Show holiday shoppers you care

Although the pandemic appears to be waning, it has changed consumer habits, possibly forever. Virus-related health concerns have caused a large number of people to be concerned about shopping indoors at retail establishments and eating indoors — even when stores and restaurants aren’t operating under mandated restrictions.

So, one of the most important ways to show shoppers you care about them is to let them know what precautions you’re taking to ensure their safety. The steps you take now will help them remember you as a safe and worthwhile place to shop after the holidays (and after the pandemic passes). Here are several things you can do:

  • Follow CDC safety guidelines regarding store capacity and mask-wearing.
  • Be sure your employees are wearing their masks properly. If they don’t, one or more customers might complain on local social media sites like NextDoor and tell people to stay away from your store or restaurant. (Yes, people really do that. They’ll also post comments if your store or restaurant looks dirty, your employees were rude, and other things they don’t like.)
  • Reassure customers that you care about their safety by posting signage with the steps you are taking to keep them and your staff safe this year.
  • Take employees’ temperatures every day and remind them not to come into work if they’re sick or have been in contact recently with someone who’s been sick.
  • Post masking, capacity, and social distancing notices at the doors. If your store gets a lot of foot traffic, assign employees to keep track of the number of people entering and leaving to prevent going over capacity.
  • Have hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, and extra masks available at the door for customers who want them.
  • Offer online ordering if possible, with curbside pickup or delivery options for consumers and patrons who don’t want to come into your facility.
  • Consider hiring extra part-time employees to help with curbside delivery, door checks, and filling in for staff who call in sick.

First impressions are important

Aside from health-related issues, it’s crucial to make sure your business does everything it can to maximize shoppers’ first impressions in other ways, too.

Train employees to greet your customers with a smile and ask if they need help finding anything. If you have an online store or take orders on the phone, be sure the people who answer your phone are pleasant and polite with all callers. It’s always easier to get a shopper back to your store if they’re able to find exactly what they need quickly, particularly if you have friendly, helpful staff ready to assist them.

Work hard to ensure that your business is staffed appropriately at all times and has enough stock to ensure a good experience.

Train your employees to help keep the store looking as neat and clean as possible throughout the day. Hurried (and inconsiderate) shoppers can mess up counters and displays and move merchandise to places other shoppers would never look for it. Be sure merchandise is folded or hanging neatly, and that sizes and colors are where they should be.

Make it easy for new customers to navigate your store or your online storefront. In your physical location, make sure that all of your displays are well-organized and logically grouped together. If you have specific items that you know customers will be looking for during this time of year, make sure they stand out and are easily accessible. If you sell online, feature hot-selling items on the homepage, and have a navigation menu that makes it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for by category and, if possible, by price.

Don’t forget how important it is to follow through with new shoppers. If you tell a customer to expect a product to ship in a few days, do your best to get it to them early or at least on time; if it’s going to be later, make sure to contact them. Following through on your word can lead to repeat business and possibly even a good review. As important as a product may be, remember that your customers can probably find it, or something like it, anywhere. However, a good experience can stand out in their mind for a long time.

Get holiday shoppers’ contact information

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Infrared thermography utilizes special cameras to detect heat that cannot be seen by the human eye. This heat is typically produced through an increase in resistance in electrical equipment. Increased temperatures indicate a potential trouble spot that could lead to failure of the component and/or arcing. This can result in a shutdown in operations and personnel injury.

Infrared Thermography

Liberty Mutual | Published 10/24/2022 | Business Insurance | Infrared Thermography

An often-forgotten utility

Electrical distribution can often go forgotten, leading to lax or inconsistent maintenance and inspection. When electrical equipment fails it often leads to high equipment replacement costs, lengthy downtimes, and interruptions in production or operations. One form of maintenance that can provide a huge benefit, with limited interruption in operation, is infrared thermography.

Infrared thermography

Often referred to as an infrared scan, infrared thermography utilizes special cameras to detect heat that cannot be seen by the human eye. This heat is typically produced through an increase in resistance in electrical equipment. Increased temperatures indicate a potential trouble spot that could lead to failure of the component and/or arcing. This can result in a shutdown in operations and personnel injury.

Because of this consideration, both the International Electrical Testing Association (NETA) and the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) recommend periodic infrared testing of critical equipment.

Benefits of a thermographic predictive maintenance program include:

  • Minimized failures. Thermographic surveys help minimize maintenance costs and unscheduled outages.
  • Increased safety. Detection of hot spots could prevent fire or arcing events. 
  • Minimal production interruption. Infrared thermography has to be completed when the equipment is at load; therefore, the maintenance activity will have minimal impact on production.

Infrared thermography can expand beyond electrical inspections to mechanical equipment. This is due to heat being generated when friction exists, or a lack of cooling medium being present. This allows the camera to see misalignment, bearing issues, clogged or obstructed cooling, and several other conditions which result in elevated heat.

What to expect with an Infrared Thermography Scan

Infrared scans do require some preparation and certain expectations should be made regarding a finished product. This will vary depending on the company completing the scan, as well as where the scan is completed.

The following items should be noted in preparation of a scan:

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What Is Financial Leverage?

What Is Financial Leverage? | August 23, 2022 | By Marianne Hayes | Financial Leverage

Quick Answer

Financial leverage is when you borrow money to make an investment that will hopefully lead to greater returns. It’s built on the idea of spending money to make money. Examples of financial leverage can include: Buying a home, investing in a business and buying an investment property.

We’ve all heard the saying, “You’ve got to spend money to make money.” In finance, leverage is when you borrow money to make an investment that will hopefully lead to greater returns. No investment is ever a 100% guarantee—there’s always risk. Financial leverage leans into the idea that borrowing cash to cover a new investment has the potential to pay off in the long run.

Let’s look more closely at how financial leverage works, along with its potential benefits and drawbacks.

How Financial Leverage Works

What is leverage? It has to do with maximizing your advantage. Leverage in personal investing involves using borrowed funds to buy into an investment. It’s widely used in the corporate world as well. Lots of companies, especially startups, continually seek leverage in the form of investor capital they can use to grow their businesses and meet important milestones.

Individual consumers use financial leverage in a different way. Here the focus is on building personal wealth. If you’re an entrepreneur or business investor, that might involve putting money into growing businesses. Otherwise, financial leverage covers any personal investment that’s made with borrowed funds.

Examples of Financial Leverage

Borrowing Money to Buy an Investment Property

Buying an investment property is a prime example of financial leverage. That may be a rental property that you maintain and lease out to tenants, which can create a steady flow of passive income each month. Alternatively, you may fix and flip properties. In this case, the goal is to turn a profit after buying a property, sprucing it up and putting it back on the market.

Both options require upfront capital. In addition to making the purchase, rental properties require ongoing maintenance and repairs. There are also property taxeshomeowners insurance and other recurring expenses.

Flipping homes has its own financial demands. You’ll need funding to complete the purchase and all the necessary repairs and upgrades, which will determine your asking price when you’re ready to sell. Unless you’ve got cash on hand to cover the purchase, you’ll have to take out a loan to buy an investment property. It’s typically more complicated than buying a primary residence, and may require a larger down payment (usually 20% to 30%). Interest rates and credit score requirements are usually higher too.

Taking Out a Mortgage to Buy a New Home

Everyday folks who take out a mortgage to buy a new home are also flexing their financial leverage. That’s because the money you borrow through your home loan is being used to purchase an asset, which is part of your financial portfolio. Every monthly payment you make reduces your loan balance and increases your home equity. This is the amount of your home’s value you actually own. The more equity you have, the more money you’ll pocket when it comes time to sell.

You can also use home equity to unlock financing. This includes a home equity loan or line of credit, as well as a cash-out refinance. Each option allows you to trade equity for upfront cash. You might use it to cover home renovations, college costs, debt repayment or other major life expenses.

Learn more about Financial Leverage

Getting Student Loans for College

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November is Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month

November 2022 | National American Heritage | Native American | Special Event Insurance

About National Native American Heritage Month

What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose.

One of the very proponents of an American Indian Day was Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, who was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, N.Y. He persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to set aside a day for the “First Americans” and for three years they adopted such a day. In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association meeting in Lawrence, Kans., formally approved a plan concerning American Indian Day. It directed its president, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, an Arapahoe, to call upon the country to observe such a day. Coolidge issued a proclamation on Sept. 28, 1915, which declared the second Saturday of each May as an American Indian Day and contained the first formal appeal for recognition of Indians as citizens.

The year before this proclamation was issued, Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, rode horseback from state to state seeking approval for a day to honor Indians. On December 14, 1915, he presented the endorsements of 24 state governments at the White House. There is no record, however, of such a national day being proclaimed.

November is National American Indian Heritage Month The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans.

The first American Indian Day in a state was declared on the second Saturday in May 1916 by the governor of New York. Several states celebrate the fourth Friday in September. In Illinois, for example, legislators enacted such a day in 1919. Presently, several states have designated Columbus Day as Native American Day, but it continues to be a day we observe without any recognition as a national legal holiday.

In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994.

Native American Heritage Month

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How To Winterize Your Car in 8 Easy Steps

How To Winterize Your Car in 8 Easy Steps

Winterize Your Car. You know freezing conditions can be dangerous. Here’s how to be well-prepared if you need to take the car out when snow and ice coat the roads.

Popular Mechanics | BY MANASEE WAGH | NOV 4, 2022 | Winterize Your Car | Shield Auto Insurance

It’s November, which means now is the perfect time to get outside and start prepping your car for the ice and snow ahead. We put together a list of eight easy ways to winterize your car and stay safe. Our first three tips concentrate on your car’s tires, since rubber meeting ice presents the greatest potential hazard. The rest are simply good practices that will help you maintain your vehicle over time and prep for the worst-case-scenario.

Even if you follow all of our instructions to the letter, remember to make smart decisions depending on the current and forecasted weather outside. Make sure you know how to drive in different winter conditions. And finally, if you plan a road trip and wake up to find a blizzard approaching, consider postponing the drive unless you must travel for an emergency.

1. Switch to Winter Tires or New All-Season Tires

Winter tires don’t harden in the cold, so they have better traction on ice, slush, and snow. If you live in an area not normally hit by heavy snow, you may decide to stick with all-season tires—but you should still give those tires a check-up.

Get out a pair of thin rubber gloves and run a hand over each of your tires. “The tires are really going to make a difference in your ability to get around in inclement weather,” EricTheCarGuy explains on his YouTube channel. He recommends checking for abnormal wear, bumps, or spots that “catch your hand,” which are all signs that you should probably check your alignment, too. If a tire is worn out, change it. If you’re not sure if your tread is worn or not, you can use a handy tool called a tire tread depth gauge. Alternatively, you can stick a penny into the treads, with Lincoln’s head facing down into the tire. If you can see the top of his head, get those tires changed right away, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Also remember that tires become harder on their surface from repeated heating and cooling over the seasons and years. Cars with apparently healthy treads can have poorer traction than you think they do. So when in doubt, swap those tires out.

2. Check Your Tire Pressure to Winterize Your Car

Make sure your tire pressure is correct, as stated in your owner’s manual, the tire placard located on the driver’s side door jamb, or in your car’s digital status center. For every 10 degrees Fahrenheit that the temperature drops, you could see a gain or loss of 1 pound per square inch of pressure. That’s because air molecules pack together more closely when the temperature drops. As the air becomes denser, the pressure it exerts on the interior tire walls drops. Make sure you’re refilling your tires whenever they’re a little low to maintain good traction and durability.

3. Put Chains On Your Tires in Extreme Cases

Chains should only be used while driving on snowy or icy roads. Never use chains on bare pavement, or they could cause damage to both your car and the road; Pull over and remove them if that’s the case. Check out this handy how-to video from the Oregon Department of Transportation about installing winter tire chains and how to correctly use them.

4. Install Winter Windshield Wipers to Winterize Your Car

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Vehicle-Deer Collision

Press Release: Vehicle-Deer Collision and Insurance Coverage

DIFS Encourages Drivers to Review Auto Insurance Policies to Understand Coverage for a Vehicle-Deer Collision

Media Contact: Laura Hall, (517) 290-3779,  | Vehicle-Deer Collision

Consumer Hotline: 833-ASK-DIFS,  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 15, 2022

(LANSING, MICH) The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is reminding consumers to review their auto insurance coverage to make sure they understand what coverage may be available in the event of damage caused by a vehicle-deer collision. Though these types of crashes occur all year round, the fall deer hunting season, coupled with shorter daylight periods, often increases the number of these crashes, which can cost thousands of dollars to repair. Vehicle-Deer Collision

“Auto insurance may not be at the top of your mind as we head into the colder months, but this is a good time of year to review your policy so you are prepared for unexpected mishaps, like hitting a deer with your car,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Understanding your auto coverage can make the difference between an inconvenience and a major financial problem, given that the cost of repairing damage from a vehicle-deer collision can be $5,000 or even more. In most cases, you will need to buy an optional coverage called comprehensive insurance to cover damage caused by something other than a crash with another vehicle, so it is important to consider your family’s insurance needs and budget before a potential loss.” 

According to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, each year there are approximately 50,000 reported vehicle-deer crashes in Michigan. About 80%of these crashes occur on two-lane roads between dusk and dawn, especially during the spring and during fall hunting season. A recent study conducted by AAA reported that Michiganders pay an average of $130 million each year to repair vehicle damage caused by collisions with deer.

To make sure that you are protected against this type of damage, you should discuss your current auto insurance policy with your licensed insurance agent or company. In most cases, you will need to buy a optional comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive pays if your car is stolen, or for repairs if it is damaged by a falling object, fire, flood, vandalism, or collision with an animal.

Here are a few tips on what to do after vehicle-deer collision

  • Pull off the road, turn on your emergency flashers, and be cautious of other traffic if you exit your vehicle.
  • Report the crash to the nearest police agency and your insurance company or agent.
  • Document the incident. If it’s safe to do so, take photographs of the roadway, your surroundings, damage to your vehicle, and any injuries you or your passengers sustained. If witnesses stop, take down their account of what occurred, and ask for their contact information.
  • Do not approach the deer. Wounded animals can be dangerous, and an animal that appears to be dead may only be stunned.
  • Don’t assume your vehicle is safe to drive. Double-check that your car is drivable after colliding with a deer. Look for leaking fluid, loose parts, tire damage, broken lights, a hood that won’t latch, and other safety hazards. If your vehicle seems unsafe in any way, call for a tow.

If you have questions or concerns with your insurance policy or wish to file a complaint, contact DIFS at 833-ASK-DIFS Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or visit

The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit or follow the Department on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.


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3D printing and the construction industry

3D Printing and the Construction Industry

Liberty Mutual | 10/24/2022 | 3D Printing | Business Insurance

3D printing and the construction industry: 4 risks to manage

Additive manufacturing (AM) — more commonly known as 3D printing — is the practice of constructing objects using computer-aided drawings (CADs) and 3D printers to create materials that can be used in constructing buildings. The technology for AM is improving every day, with more printing methods and materials being developed for these types of construction. Additionally, load-bearing structures for the civil construction sector may be one of the next innovations in the AM space.

Residential construction has paved the way in 3D printing, but commercial construction, while less common, seems to be gaining ground. For contractors interested in investing in 3D-printing technology, it’s important to understand the risks of this breakthrough innovation — and what you can do to help protect your company.

As technology has improved, so too has demand. The market for 3D homes is expected to increase due to post-COVID-19 pandemic-related supply chain and labor shortages, which have increased timelines and costs for traditional construction. Meanwhile, factors such as increased rental prices and limited inventory have put housing demand on the rise.

Contractors are already starting on residential multistory 3D-printed homes , which could help test use cases for commercial work. One result could be multiuse structures, with retail and office spaces on the ground level and habitational units above. Additionally, the creation of 3D-printed infrastructure, such as  this 40-foot steel pedestrian bridge recently unveiled in Amsterdam, could become more common.

However, the increased prevalence of AM in construction also brings increased risk for contractors and builders. In this article, we’ll explain the risks of this breakthrough innovation — and what you can do to help protect your company.

1. Managing contract liability and insurance challenges due to 3D Printing

Projects that leverage 3D printing typically entail partnerships between construction companies, technology firms, and manufacturers specializing in this type of production.

These partnerships are often formalized through a joint venture (JV) agreement. In a joint venture, each party has “joint and several liability,” which means that each member is jointly and severally liable for any damages on the project, regardless of which party causes them. 

Projects that leverage 3D printing typically entail partnerships between construction companies, technology firms, and manufacturers. These partnerships are often formalized via a joint venture agreement, which can introduce contractual and insurance challenges.

Joint ventures can introduce contractual and insurance challenges, especially when leveraging a newer technology such as 3D printing, so it is important to understand the risk-management nuances of this type of arrangement.

For example, potential challenges to consider include:

  • What happens if 3D-printed work products don’t meet aesthetic and engineered expectations of the project owner? If 3D-printed work products cause harm to someone or damage property, how will the JV respond to injuries and claims?
  • How will the JV cover “rework” costs if the project owner does not approve of the 3D-printed aspects of the build?
  • As industry standards for 3D-printed building construction are in their infancy, who is responsible for ensuring that the 3D-printed building methods meet the standards outlined by the International Code Council?  
  • What happens if a claim is filed after the JV is terminated?

Ways to manage contract- and insurance-related challenges include:

  • Developing a formal JV contract that clearly outlines:
    • the purpose of the joint venture
    • the management structure and legal duties of each partner
    • the financial arrangements such as capital expenditures and profit distributions
    • the anticipated time frame and how and when the contract will terminate
  • Establishing how to insure the joint venture. There are different options to consider, which can vary based on cost and impact to each member’s individual policies.
  • Working with your legal department and insurance carrier and broker partners to review all contracts and insurance needs

2. Reducing the risk of occupational diseases and workers compensation claims

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