3 Questions About Environmental Liability Insurance

Pollution events often make the news, from major oil spills to industrial disasters. The results can be devastating for the responsible entities.

But a small pollution event can be just as damaging to a company's profits and reputation, even if it's as tiny as site runoff after heavy rainfall.

Luckily, you can insure your business against lost costs, lawsuits, and reputational damage after a pollution event with environmental liability coverage.

What is Environmental Insurance for Contractors?

Environmental liability is designed to protect businesses against pollution conditions caused by their work, as well as work performed by subcontractors on their behalf.

Environmental insurance, also known as pollution liability insurance, provides coverage for:

  • third-party injury
  • property damage
  • defense
  • pollution clean up

General Liability Excludes Pollution Events

Aren't you already covered against third-party injury and property damage with your general liability policy?

It does.

But it most likely excludes pollution events.

Most general liability policies contain a pollution exclusion that excludes bodily injury or property damage arising from a pollution event.

GL also doesn't cover the costs of cleanup or remediation, which could be the most costly part of a pollution event.

What is an Environmental Pollutant?

Do you run the risk of releasing contaminants while performing your work? Pollutants can include:

  • paint fumes
  • mold
  • asbestos
  • welding fumes
  • bacteria
  • and more

It's not just companies that transport crude oil that have to worry about environmental pollutants. Look at this insurance definition:

"An irritant or contaminant, whether in solid, liquid, or gaseous form, including -- when they can be regarded as an irritant or contaminant -- smoke, vapor, soot, fumes, acids, alkalis, chemicals, and waste."

Who Needs Environmental Pollution Liability?

All construction operations have the potential to trigger an environmental incident. This is why pollution liability coverage is available to any contractor, from general contractors to specialty trades.

However, some contractors may face higher than average risks for pollution events, such as mold, asbestos, silica, and other contaminants.

Do you do work in any of these areas?

  • Abatement and remediation
  • Above/below ground storage tanks
  • Demolition
  • Electrical, HVAC, and mechanical
  • General contractors
  • Grading, site, and excavation
  • Industrial and pipeline
  • Maintenance
  • Roofing
  • Sewer, waste, and utility
  • Street and road construction

Accidents Happen. Don't Get Caught Unprepared.

No one plans on releasing mold, bacteria, or asbestos while running their construction business. But if an accident does happen, the blowback could be massive. Investigations, mystery illnesses, lawsuits, medical expenses, area cleanup, and even reputational damage could add up quickly.

Don't let a single mishap lead to the ruin of your business. Protect yourself with pollution liability coverage.




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