Pollution…the environment…toxic waste spills…trash…these and many other words are heard, whispered, discussed each and every day in present times. “That will never happen at my business!” But what if there’s an earthquake or flood, and walls and fixtures break and come tumbling down, cracking open ducts or pipes—is your insured ready? Unfortunately, things can happen even with all the proper precautions, and is why it’s so important that your insured has environmental insurance in place with adequate coverage.
Before talking about three of the main reasons for having this coverage, we’ll quickly understand what environmental insurance is exactly.
Also known as pollution insurance or pollution coverage, it provides coverage for loss or damages resulting from unexpected releases of pollutants (typically excluded in general liability and property insurance policies), and protects against any allegations that a pollutant from your facility has been released and/or adversely affected others. These losses or damages can include claims for bodily injury, property damage, and cleanup costs.
When we think about pollution, the first thing that comes to mind is the air, and images of billowing smoke out of towers or chimneys, skies filled with orange smoke from car exhausts, etc. However, pollution can take place in many different forms: oil and chemical spills, gas leaks, drinking water contamination, release of toxic fumes due to a fire; the list is endless. Even floods and earthquakes can be the catalyst for pollutant release. Ensuring proper coverage is in place is imperative. Let’s examine why.