Pollution Liability

Mitigating Pollution Risks with Environmental Insurance

03/18/2024 Written by: AP Real Estate

The environmental insurance market is navigating a complex landscape of emerging exposures, regulatory uncertainties, and evolving risk factors. As a result, insurers are adapting their underwriting strategies and coverage offerings to effectively address these challenges.

One of the critical issues that insurers face is the escalation of class action lawsuits related to odor claims, particularly in areas surrounding landfills. These lawsuits can lead to substantial financial implications for insurers. Additionally, the rise of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), known as "forever chemicals," poses a new threat to the industry. Regulators have yet to determine cleanup levels, causing uncertainty for carriers and resulting in policy restrictions and exclusions.

Another area of concern is the heightened focus on mold and legionella risk in industries such as healthcare, hospitality, and habitational sectors. Indoor air and water quality exposure is a significant concern in these industries, making environmental insurance coverage crucial.

Environmental insurance products play a crucial role in mitigating pollution exposure by providing financial protection and risk transfer mechanisms. For example:

  • Contractors Pollution Liability (CPL) policies address gaps in coverage due to pollution-related exclusions on standard commercial general liability programs.
  • Contractors Pollution and Professional Liability (CPP) insurance addresses the unique risk exposures against the uncertainty of environmental and professional liabilities associated with the daily operations encountered by contractors and design-build firms.
  • Packaged General Liability, Professional, and Pollution Liability for Contractors combines general liability and environmental liability policies to help eliminate gaps in standard general liability. It’s important to note this coverage is only for contractors who environmental work such as remediation, abatement, fire/water restoration, etc.
  • Owners and Contractors Protective Professional Insurance (OPPI & CPPI) offer project-dedicated professional liability insurance to protect a project owner or general contractor from losses arising from an architect's or engineer's negligence.
  • Environmental Impairment Liability (EIL), also known as Site Pollution Liability, protects property owners, operators, buyers, sellers, and developers from known and unknown risks associated with pollution incidents on real property.
  • Packaged General Liability and Pollution Liability for Manufactures and Distributors combines general liability and environmental liability policies into one blended policy form, resulting in more comprehensive overall coverage.
  • Stock Throughput and Pollution Liability Exposure (STAPLE) combines comprehensive all-risks, stock throughput insurance with broad, third-party pollution coverage for an insured's goods on one policy.

Pollution needs to be formally addressed in every risk management program.


Discover the importance of Pollution Coverage!

In addition to insurance solutions, there are proactive steps that businesses can take to mitigate pollution risks. These include:

  • Conducting thorough risk assessments to identify potential pollution exposures.
  • Staying informed about environmental regulations and compliance requirements.
  • Implementing pollution prevention measures and best practices.
  • Training employees on environmental awareness, pollution prevention, and proper handling of hazardous materials.
  • Developing emergency response plans.
  • Implementing environmental monitoring programs.

Lastly, communicate openly with your insurance advisor to discuss risk management strategies, coverage options, and emerging environmental risks. These measures, along with tailored insurance coverage, are vital for businesses to effectively manage and mitigate pollution exposure, safeguarding against financial losses and liabilities arising from environmental incidents.

Discuss your questions or concerns with the AP Real Estate Team today.

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