search the site

photo photo photo photo photo

Risk Management Through Contracts and Insurance: A Primer


Contracts are part of everyday business life and regrettably many business people do not take them seriously—or seriously enough. Many business people do not read or really understand the “fine print” in the agreements they sign. They have no established policies for who can sign a contract or what needs to be done before accepting an agreement.

As this discussion points out, there are serious implications—both legal and insurance-related—for this lax attitude. Fortunately a little bit of knowledge, planning, and forethought can go a long way. Going into negotiations with an understanding of the various points addressed in this paper can help to ensure contracts become an asset to all the signing parties and not a liability that can drag the company into misunderstandings and costly, distracting disagreements and lawsuits.

Because every business situation is different, and the risk, legal, and insurance environments are constantly evolving, this document should not be relied upon as legal, risk, or insurance advice.

A bit about the authors:

Robert K. Buchanan, Jr. is a tax attorney with a strong specialization in mergers and acquisitions. His firm provides a broad range of legal services to startups, emerging growth companies, and other organizations at every stage of the business lifecycle—from initial formation to sale or final dissolution.

Bob is licensed in California, Oregon, and Washington and has offices in both San Francisco and Truckee, California. He also has a Masters degree in Taxation from New York University. Bob founded Buchanan Law Group (BLG) in 2002 to better deliver ongoing, efficient, and “just-in-time” legal services to his clients. BLG focuses on:

In addition to these specialty areas, Bob works closely with a broad network of legal colleagues who offer services for almost any need. Prospective clients can reach Buchanan Law Group through or by calling (415) 395-4700.

Charles T. Wilson is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC®) and a specialist in risk management and insurance. As a consultant, speaker, and trusted advisor, Charles educates and helps business owners to:

He founded RiskSmart Solutions® in 2000. The firm is independent and does not sell insurance. Clients benefit from proven strategies that Charles developed over his 28-year career in international insurance underwriting, sales, and risk analysis. He has extensive experience starting, growing, and fixing small business units in Europe, Canada, and the US. Charles offers an integrated and creative, solution-oriented approach to business risk assessment, problem solving, and crisis management. He works with your organization and key advisers to quickly and effectively implement his proposed solutions.

Contact Charles with any questions or comments and get a no-obligation initial consultation for your business risks, contingency plans, and insurance. | 510-685-3883 |

Table of Contents

  1. The Basics of Contracts and the Contracting Process
  2. Some Important Contract Provisions
  3. Risk Transfers in Contracts
  4. Insurance: a Primer
  5. Specialized Insurance Coverages and Conclusion