A Closer Look At Pollution Liability Insurance

At one time, general business liability policies covered claims arising from pollution. The asbestos claims of the 1970s changed that and most insurance companies excluded pollution liability from their policies. Any size business, large or small can face pollution liability claims from local and state governments, from landlords and from other businesses. A pollution liability claim can put a small business out of business.

Who Needs Pollution Liability Insurance?

Businesses like dry cleaners and hair salons which use dangerous or environmentally unsafe chemicals can face pollution liability claims. Service stations, auto repair shops and auto parts stores may also face environmental clean up costs. Even building contractors may find themselves faced with environmental claims or penalties which can seriously hurt a business and threaten its ability to remain financially solvent.

Pollution Liability Coverage

Pollution liability insurance covers claims related to pollution of property and pollution which causes injuries to people. The insurer provides attorneys to defend the insured in law suits related to pollution allegedly caused by the insured. Claims that pollution caused diseases like cancer can be expensive to defend and damage awards are often high. The cost of homes or property which is deemed uninhabitable is also expensive.

What Types of Pollution are covered?

The policy covers any type of pollution associated with a particular business that causes damage to soil, groundwater or property. The coverage includes airborne pollutants like smoke and industrial emissions. Many policies cover pollution that occurred in the past and has not yet been discovered which protects businesses now for pollution that may have occurred before laws were enacted and harmful effects discovered.

Contractors Pollution Liability Insurance

Contractors who used asbestos insulation in the 1950s and 1960s had to remove it from buildings during the 1970s because it was shown to be a health hazard. Current building materials that meet codes may be found harmful in the future. A pollution liability insurance policy can protect contractors now and in the future for the cost of clean up, if building materials are found to be harmful. It can also help in claims for improper disposal of certain types of hazardous materials.

Cost of Pollution Liability Insurance

The cost of pollution liability insurance depends on the type of business and the amount of exposure the business represents. A dry cleaning establishment is more likely to create pollution than a laundromat and would therefore pay higher premiums. Most pollution liability policies are tailored to the needs of the individual business. Businesses can contact pollution liability insurance carriers online for policy details and price quotes.

There are many types of businesses that can face claims for damages for pollution created by their actions. Environmental laws are changing and businesses may find themselves liable for future clean up of their business site. Pollution liability insurance can protect businesses by covering the cost of clean up, paying government fines or sanctions, covering the cost of damage claims and providing a legal defense for businesses facing law suits.