What is Site Pollution Liability?
Site Pollution, Environmental Impairment Liability, Premises Pollution, Pollution Legal Liability…whichever term you’ve heard or are familiar with, they are all Claims Made policies which provide an insured with the same basic coverage for pollution conditions arising at, on, upon, or migrating from their owned/leased location.
Although there are many situations that warrant this type of coverage, here are the most common scenarios that drive interest:
- An insured’s desire to protect himself/herself against liability from third parties.
- Operations performed at the site prior to and during ownership.
- To meet contractual requirements for a property transfer, new construction, or refinancing.
Each location is individually underwritten to make a determination as to the extent of coverage that can be offered. For example, a clean site without a history of adverse operations or pollution conditions and where relatively benign operations are now being performed, can typically purchase broad coverage to include First Party Onsite Cleanup, Third Party Bodily Injury/Property Damage, and Offsite Cleanup for both new and pre-existing conditions (no retroactive date). However, often there are circumstances at a location that may require customizing coverage by establishing a retroactive date, providing coverage only for conditions that arise and are reported after this date and within the policy period. Additionally, policies can be tailored to fit very specific needs, such as limiting coverage to just onsite cleanup, or offsite Bodily Injury. It is this flexibility that makes these policies very powerful risk management tools. Most coverage forms are fairly flexible and coverage is always Claims Made.
Coverage is triggered either by a claim for damages from a third party, or by the discovery of contamination above “Action Levels” on the insured’s premises. “Action Levels” are a very important concept to understand. These levels are set in every community on a federal, state, or local level. They represent the allowable concentration of any contaminant for the area in which the contaminant is discovered. Policies clean up pollutants to the acceptable level dictated by the governing authority. In other words, if you have pristine land on which you spill diesel fuel, you will need to clean up the site to whatever level is allowable by the governing authority.
Businesses interested in Site Pollution range from small to large, obvious to not-so-obvious, and can include:
- Industrial facilities
- Manufacturing facilities
- Apartment buildings
- Office buildings
- Contractors equipment yards
- Colleges & Universities
- Properties being bought or sold
- Service stations
Some optional coverage enhancements may include:
- Mold, Fungus, and Legionella coverage
- Non-owned disposal site coverage
- Illicit abandonment
- Transportation Pollution Liability coverage
- Can be packaged with Products Pollution
Make sure there are no gaps in your client’s insurance program which could result in an environmental claim. Agents should contact their environmental wholesale specialist in order to gain access to environmental markets that can write Site Specific Pollution Liability insurance. Site Pollution coverage is easily accessible and could prevent an insured from devastating financial losses. Email us for more information or visit our Site Pollution page for product specifics.