Environmental Insurance – The Forgotten Policy

By April 17, 2019 Blog, Business Insurance

Environmental risks and liabilities are hard to predict but can cause severe financial losses, public relations disasters and serious health issues.  An environmental policy can help mitigate exposures by providing affordable coverage for environmental conditions and legal defenses.

Standard Commercial General Liability insurance often provides little to no coverage for potential costly claims caused by pollutants such as mold, asbestos, lead paint or oil leaks. In order to protect your financial interests, it’s worth thinking about adding on a specialized policy. If your building was built prior to 1978 when the lead paint laws were changed, or if your building has an oil tank, it’s imperative to consider obtaining an environmental policy.

Environmental Insurance will pay for third-party liability lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage as a result of a pollutant. In addition, an environmental policy will pay for the clean-up costs associated with a spill from a covered oil tank.

Depending on a number of factors, such as the size of your building, or the age of any fuel tanks, environmental coverage can be relatively inexpensive, especially when you consider the cost of having to clean up a pollution-related mess or the cost to defend a suit lodged by an injured party.

Environmental insurance policies are designed to address the environmental risks associated with owning property, operating a facility or running a worksite.

The following examples are potential losses a property owner may experience when it comes to environmental risks:

Fuel Spill

If your organization has a fuel tank above or below ground and there is a leak the clean-up costs can be very expensive.  Overflows while filling above ground storage tanks regularly require immediate reporting and clean up. They have resulted in lawsuits for personal injury and relocation expenses.

Mold Contamination

Resulting mold remediation and alleged personal injuries for medical monitoring are most often excluded under general liability and property policies. An example of a catastrophic claim could be a $1 million settlement with tenants from toxic mold in a residential complex.

Asbestos

Each year, many lawsuits are filed to recover damages relating to cancer, respiratory illness or medical monitoring resulting from asbestos exposure. Annually, thousands of million-dollar settlements are reached with tenants and contractors who allege exposure from asbestos in ceiling tiles, roof tiles, valves, pipe insulation, cement wallboard, pipe coverings, adhesives, gaskets and a wide array of other building products.

An uninsured pollution loss can devastate an organization. Environmental Liability insurance can help ensure your organization’s survival.  All policies vary by insurer, so it’s important to review the terms and conditions carefully.  Contact us to discuss what policy is best for your business.

Please note, we will be closing at 1pm on Friday, May 24 and closed on Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day.