Why do contractors need pollution liability insurance? Shouldn’t this be covered under a commercial general liability insurance policy? There is a history of pollution liability in the United States, which brought about the need for a special policy that specifically covers pollution liability.
Several decades back, in the 1960s and 1970s, factories had been allowed to release air pollutants and chemicals in water supplies virtually unchecked. America started to become more aware of these environmental concerns and legislation was enacted in an effort to begin a massive clean-up of these polluted sites. The parties responsible for the pollution began to seek coverage for this clean-up in their general liability insurance policies.
Insurers, on the other hand, wanted no part in covering the billions of dollars of environmental clean-up efforts and changed the wording in general liability policies to specifically exclude coverage for pollution. There was no general liability coverage for pollution damage such as a toxic spill.
The pollution liability insurance industry began in earnest in 1970 with the passage of the Clean Air Act. This landmark legislation established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and set strict limits on emissions from factories and other sources of air pollution. Then in the 1980s several high-profile cases showed that companies could be held liable for damages caused by pollution. In response to this, insurance companies began offering pollution liability insurance to protect companies from these liabilities. The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 expanded the scope of the original legislation, setting even stricter limits on emissions. These amendments also created a new program, called the Cap and Trade program, which allowed businesses to trade pollution credits.
In the years since the passage of the Clean Air Act, pollution liability insurance has become an important tool for businesses to protect themselves from the financial risks of environmental damage. Today, many companies purchase pollution liability insurance to cover their costs in the event of an accident or spill that damages the environment.
Today, pollution liability insurance is a vital part of many businesses’ risk management strategy. It helps protect companies from the financial damages that can result from pollution incidents.
To this day, pollution coverage is excluded from most, if not all, general liability policies. Thus, the need for a special policy to cover pollution liability. The pollution liability policy covers bodily injury and property damage to third parties in environmental clean-up. Environmental contractor policies cover liability risks arising from operations involving environmental clean-up.
C & S Specialty Underwriters offers a contractor’s pollution liability policy, which provides coverage to environmental contractors for bodily injury, property damage and clean-up costs arising from remediation efforts. This provides liability protection for contractors involved in fire and water restoration, mold remediation, soil and groundwater remediation, above and underground storage tank removal, radon mitigation, lead, asbestos and PCB remediation and other types of environmental contractors.
We also offer the environmental contractor’s consultant’s package policy which combines coverage for commercial general liability, pollution liability/environmental consultant’s professional liability, all rolled into one convenient policy. Contact us to discuss liability solutions for your environmental contractor clients: https://csunderwriters.com/