As we become more entrenched in protecting our Earth, entities are paying even more attention to what others do (and don’t do) to join in and help change our wasteful ways. Bad press from harmful waste disposal is bad enough, so you don’t want to risk having to pay for cleanups and injuries as well.
If your business doesn’t have to dispose of harmful chemicals, you may believe there is no way that you could be liable for pollution under the law. However, environmental risks can come from on- and off-site conditions, waste disposal and transportation exposures, merger and acquisition activities, historical and current operations, storage tank releases, and many more. Many insurance companies have now begun to offer environmental liability coverage because a much broader scope of industries are needing protection from possible problems; it’s no longer just for niche markets. There is no policy that offers full protection, but coverage policies usually fall under these categories:
- Pollution legal liability- covers claims from unknown pollution conditions at specific locations.
- Property transfer- offers coverage similar to pollution legal liability policies when property ownership is transferred.
- Cleanup cost cap or stop loss- covers cost overruns for remediation due to the discovery of additional amounts or newly discovered contaminants, or from changes in regulatory requirements at a site.
- Brownfields restoration and development- covers urban development projects with known contamination.
- Asbestos abatement- covers bodily injury and property damage that results from asbestos abatement operations conducted by the remedial contractor.
- Asbestos containment- covers building owners if a release of asbestos occurs.
- Transporter insurance- covers a transporter for off-site spills and liability for disposal of waste at a non-owned location.
- Storage tank pollution liability- covers releases from schedule storage tank systems for corrective action on-site and off-site.
- Owner’s spill liability- covers bodily injury, property damage, and cleanup costs resulting from an incident occurring when a carrier transports the named insured’s product or waste.