Beacon Hill Associates answers all your environmental insurance FAQs.

Isn’t all pollution coverage the same?

No two pollution policies are the same. While they may attempt to protect the client in a similar fashion the way policies respond can be very different. There are markets that only offer pollution coverage on a very limited basis by offering only sudden/accidental time element coverage versus a policy that includes gradual issues. Other basic differences may include: policy trigger, capped defense costs, limited designated operation coverage, no coverage for indoor air quality issues and job site coverage only. It is important to look closely at the policy forms and endorsements when making sure the coverage addresses your client’s needs.

What type of coverage is available and what type of coverage does my client need?

There are various products available depending on the services offered by your client. There is Premises Pollution liability, Products Pollution, Contractors Pollution, Transportation pollution, and Pollution coverage for Environmental Consultants. In some cases these various products can be offered in combination with one another due to varying exposures your insured has. Please contact Beacon Hill to discuss the lines that would address your insureds’ needs.

Why should insureds be interested in pollution coverage?

How do I know if my insured is a fit?

We can offer standalone Pollution on a wide variety of clients. For General Liability to be considered the majority of your client’s receipts would need to be in environmental services. A Beacon Hill representative can assist you in determining what lines are available and applicable to your insured’s needs.

What is a pollutant?

Too much of any one substance can be considered a pollutant in certain situations. It is important to review the policy form offered as the definitions of pollutant vary by carrier, however here is an example of a fairly broad pollution definition: Pollution condition means the discharge, dispersal, release, escape, migration, or seepage of any solid, liquid, gaseous or thermal, material matter, irritant or contaminant, including smoke, soot, vapors, fumes, acids, alkalis, chemicals, hazardous substances, hazardous materials, or waste materials, on, in, into, or upon land and structures thereupon, the atmosphere, surface water or groundwater.

Can you write GL or E&O without pollution?

Pollution coverage is a specialty of Beacon Hill, therefore the products we offer will include a pollution line. For the products where we offer other lines of coverage, there is a pollution exposure involved and typically the additional cost for the pollution portion of the coverage doesn’t drive the pricing. For instance, one of our carriers will offer a combined GL, E&O, CPL product for the same minimum premium as their standalone CPL product.

What’s less expensive, an excess policy or higher primary limits?

In our industry, increasing the primary policy limits is usually the lowest cost option. For an Excess policy the minimum premiums tend to be higher as these policies will go over other lines of coverage such as the Auto and Workers Comp policies.

What’s the difference between Site Pollution coverage (EIL) and UST coverage?

What is the difference between an Additional Named Insured and Additional Insured?

Additional Named insured: Typically have co-ownership of the company or subsidiary company.
Additional insured: Protects the rights of a 3rd party that might become legally liable for the actions of the Named Insured. This may include Property Owners for whom the Named Insured is performing operations, entities performing operations for or on behalf of the Named Insured, Landlords, etc.


What policy enhancements are available?

Separate Defense Coverage, Transit pollution, Contingent transit pollution, Emergency Cleanup Costs, Non-owned Disposal Site, Blanket AI with Primary and Non-contributory language, etc.


What is Action Over? Why is it important?

What is the difference between Site Pollution and Contractors Pollution?

What does Contractors Pollution Cover?


What is Products Pollution coverage?

Is there a minimum annual premium limit to be an assigned producer with your office?


What is the BHA fee found on your quotes?

Do you only work with agents?

Do you need original copies of anything?

No, fax and email copies are fine.


Can I submit applications online for a quote?  

Beacon Hill and PartnerOne Environmental do not have an online application system. All of our applications are on the website and may be submitted via email but no “online system” is available at this time.

Who is the best Pollution market?

The best Pollution market is the one who offers the most comprehensive forms and coverages, who can offer enhancement endorsements to best protect the insured, and who can assist in tailoring a policy to meet the specific client needs at an affordable premium. There are many carriers in the Pollution marketplace and it’s imperative that brokers do their research to find the best carrier partner to work with.

Who should I contact for midterm changes?

What is needed on a renewal?

Why do we need to provide updated loss runs every year?

Underwriters need a full view of the insured’s loss history for at least 5 years to properly underwrite the risk. Open claims from prior years could be closed, prior policies written on occurrence forms could have claims reported for losses that took place during that policy term and total incurred amounts or reserves could be changed. All of these factors help determine the insured’s true loss experience and updated information helps the underwriter apply the appropriate rating.

What’s the fastest way to get quotes?

The best way to get indications quickly is to provide an ample amount of information upfront. If the underwriter is provided with a fully completed application, current loss runs, financial statements and a true understanding of the risk it makes the quoting process much easier. A limited amount of information is more likely to generate multiple questions from the underwriter as they are trying to get a good overview of what the insured does and what the risk is, ultimately delaying the quoting process.

Why does the insured have to fill out a carrier specific app since they’ve already filled out another carrier’s application or an ACORD? 

There is not a standard ACORD application for environmental insurance so ACORDS are really only acceptable for more standard lines such as Auto, WC, Umbrella, etc. Since each carrier’s rating system varies, slightly different questions are asked on different applications by each carrier. It is important for the carrier who is quoting or binding coverage to receive their own application so they are capturing all of the information they require to have to properly underwrite coverage for the insured. In some instances, carriers are able to accept another company’s application. This will have to be determined on a case by case basis.

Does the carrier allow premium financing?

This will depend on the carrier and policy written, however, most carriers do allow premium financing to be set up by the insured and agent.

When should I contact the carrier directly?

All claims should be reported to the carrier directly.

Why does the carrier need financial statements?

Most policies are based on the insured’s annual revenue projection for the next fiscal year. Underwriters need to review current financial statements to determine how past earnings compare to projections and what the insured is trending to earn for the next year. Insurance carriers also need to determine the insured’s fiscal stability for their ability to pay premiums and deductibles.