Environmental Policies and Reopening a Business

Many businesses are either starting the process of reopening or trying to determine a timeframe for when this should happen. In many cases, these work locations have been sitting vacant for several weeks. The lack of running water, HVAC use, and people monitoring the premises may pose some unexpected problems for these properties.

Site Pollution Liability can be a helpful tool in managing the risk associated with these types of pollution concerns. While an insured may not have this coverage in place now, creating a forward-thinking strategy for possible issues down the road or potential intermittent closures is crucial.

 

Environmental exposures linked to closed businesses:

  • Standing water in pipes, water fountains, sprinkler systems, etc. can result in legionella bacteria growth.
  • HVAC/mechanical systems may have been shut down for extended periods of time. With airflow ceasing, mold growth may have either started or worsened.
  • Plumbing and roof leaks that might have been detected while employees and customers are regularly in a building may have gone unnoticed and worsened during the period of vacancy. This water intrusion may cause moisture to accumulate, leading to mold.

Affected facilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Office buildings
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Schools
  • Churches
  • Outpatient medical facilities
  • Gyms and recreations facilities
  • Spas and salons
  • Retail facilities

We encourage our agents to discuss these concerns with their clients and review the coverage they currently have in place. This is a great reason to reach out to your insureds right now and an important part of a new business strategy. For information on environmental coverage, click here.

For more information about these exposures and coverage relating to building closures, please email us or call (800) 596-2156.

Get information on Premises Pollution Liability and Beacon Hill’s Loss Control Services for insureds.


Information for this article was obtained from the following sources:
https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/letters/2020/04/12/Prepare-workplaces-for-return-of-employees/stories/202004120070
https://www.circleofblue.org/2020/world/water-contamination-risks-lurk-in-plumbing-of-idled-buildings/
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-legionnaires/buildings-closed-by-coronavirus-face-another-risk-legionnaires-disease-idUSKCN2261AO