Environmental Liability coverage – often referred to as ‘pollution’ coverage – is a seldom understood and greatly underutilized tool in risk management. In the current insurance marketplace, unless a company specifically purchases a policy to cover environmental liability, they are not covered for such exposures under their policies. This creates a problem for various types of businesses and it’s often unknown. A major challenge facing many businesses is encountering unanticipated environmental liabilities. The risk of environmental issues such as contamination, mold, pollution and the presence of toxic chemicals coupled with the current attention and sensitivity given to broader environmental and climate change issues, proactively managing environmental exposures is more imortant than ever. Unlike other corporate liabilities, environmentally focused risk is tougher than ever to address given the ever changing Federal and state environmental laws which impose liability, without fault, and on a retroactive basis, on both current and prior owners of contaminated assets. “Pollution” today is broadly defined as the discharge, dispersal, release or escape of a wide variety of elements such as waste materials, toxic chemicals, contaminants, soot, vapors, smoke, fumes, acid or alkalis into or upon the land, atmosphere or any waterway or body of water. Standard business general liability (GL) policies provide little coverage for pollution damage.
Today most companies that store or handle potentially toxic materials purchase a separate environmental liability policy. These policies cover the exposure that the GL policy excludes.
The Beacon Group offers customized environmental liability business insurance coverage for virtually every type of business owner and for environmental contractors and consultants.