As 2020 comes to a much anticipated close and we approach the one-year anniversary of the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it is worth reflecting on the impacts the health crisis has had on the construction marketplace and surety industry and its likely lasting effects in the years to come. As we grappled with these issues from a legal perspective over the past nine months and surveyed our industry colleagues on their thoughts about how the world has (or hasn’t) changed, some clear themes and trends in our collective thought processes emerged:
The Year in Review
Earlier this spring, many feared the worst. The possibility for nationwide and even global lockdowns prompted concerns that building activity would grind to a halt and that some industry business sectors, whether it be owners, contractors, sureties or insurers providing subcontractor default or business interruption coverage, would be left bearing the brunt of the anticipated losses. In speaking with our construction/surety industry colleagues, many expressed cautious optimism that the overall economic impact of the pandemic in 2020 will be less severe than initially projected. However, most expect the new realities presented by the pandemic will shape innovation, risk, and opportunity well into the future.