Understanding Sudden & Accidental Pollution Insurance for Contracting Risks
By Stephen Holcombe, Senior Account Executive
One thing most agents can agree on is that understanding the pollution coverage that is given to a client can be tough to navigate. Your standard General Liability policy almost always includes a total pollution exclusion. And some carriers have determined that they are willing to provide pollution coverage, but only on a sudden and accidental basis. While this is considered an added benefit, the coverage can be limited. Many contractors may encounter a spill, release, or other pollution event at a job site, but not know when the event originated or how long it took place.
Understanding sudden and accidental pollution starts with determining the time element aspect of the coverage extension. The insured will have a set period of time to identify and notify the carrier of a potential pollution event/release. The pollution event/release itself must also begin and end in a designated time period; the time period allowed for identifying and reporting begins at the start of the actual event/release. As you can see, the coverage provided is limited, but still serves the purpose of providing coverage for pollution events that are quickly discovered and reported by the insured. However, it can be very difficult for an insured to really know when a pollution event/release really began. For example, if a sudden and accidental contractor pollution endorsement had a 72-hour identification period and 7-day reporting period., a contractor who had a spill would need to identify the spill within 72 hours of the start of the occurrence and notify the carrier within 7 days of the commencement of the spill. That is a very small window of coverage available. Read more >>
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Recent success stories
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