Important Coverages to Consider when Moving an Environmental Insurance Account
By Sara Kooij, Associate Account Executive
It is widely known that the insurance marketplace has seen an increase in the number of carriers offering pollution coverage. As more insureds become aware of this, agents will undoubtedly be tasked with the burden of hunting down cheaper options to appease their clients. Unfortunately, cheaper products are not always the best fit for an insured’s exposure. Not all policies are outfitted with the same “accessories.” When moving an account to a new carrier, whether it is due to the insured seeking a premium reduction or better service from a new carrier, it is important to review the expiring form thoroughly so valuable coverage is not inadvertently lost.
Some examples of enhancements to pay attention to are:
Non-Owned Disposal Site Coverage
Designed to cover damages resulting from pollution conditions at locations the insured does not own that are used for the treatment, storage, or disposal of the insured’s waste. This coverage is essential for businesses that rely on landfills, recycling facilities, incinerators, solid waste facilities, or transfer stations to dispose of waste.
Transportation Pollution Coverage:
Designed to cover damages resulting from pollution conditions that occur during transportation. Some policies may only cover transportation within the boundaries of a job site. Others may include transportation by the insured or contingent 3rd party transportation for hired carriers of the insured’s products or waste to or from a covered location. Loading/unloading and delivery of materials to the wrong location may be included as well.
Designed to cover damages arising out of pollution conditions that happen away from the insured’s premises that are caused by the insured’s products. Usually this coverage is associated with manufacturers, but companies that install or service products, or companies that recondition or recycle products are exposed to this risk as well.
Designed to cover the cost to repair or replace property damaged during the remediation or clean-up of a pollution condition. Agents should make sure that insureds are aware that without this enhancement, their policy’s Cleanup Costs provision would likely only respond to the costs to remedy the actual pollution condition itself.
Designed to respond to mold damages in a variety of ways. While many carriers apply all-encompassing microbial matter exclusions to their policies, others may offer more restrictive coverage with exclusions for residential exposures, faulty workmanship, construction defects, divested property, etc. Some policies may contain broad mold coverage, but it may be subject to a higher deductible or a lower sub-limit. Some policies may only respond to pre-existing mold that is discovered or released through the course of the insured’s work, as opposed to mold resulting from the insured’s operations. Coverage may be offered on an occurrence or claims made basis, so retroactive dates should be carefully reviewed when moving coverage to maintain historic coverage.
Many carriers add enhancements via endorsement, making it easy to identify their presence by skimming through the policy’s schedule of forms. Other carriers may also offer these coverages, but they could be hidden in the policy wording. Some policies may specifically exclude or be silent on these additional features. With such variation in these non-standard forms, it is incredibly easy to overlook subtle differences. Beacon Hill is always willing to provide in depth coverage comparisons by request. Please contact us for additional information on how environmental insurance can address your insureds’ exposures.