Addressing the Urgent Need for Better Pollution Liability Coverage

Aug 2019

Environmental pollution is a growing liability As more Canadians sue companies and the government to fight climate change, recent news reports are filled with stories of high-stakes pollution claims. Among the most recent rulings came from a $24.3 million lawsuit by an oil and gas company against their contractor over an accident that spilled 60 cubic metres of oil near Fort Nelson, B.C in 2007. ISH Energy Ltd. sued Weber Contract Services Inc., for negligence and breach of contract. The court found that the contractor, while they “may not have been the sole cause of the leaks”, had played a key albeit unwitting role in creating the conditions that ultimately resulted in the pollution gradually seeping into the environment. It is believed to be one of Canada’s largest-ever subrogated claims. All of this underscores the urgency of having pollution liability insurance. If your client is involved with the remediation, restoration, construction, or fuel industry, then they need protection from the risks and liabilities in the pollution arena. Your clients need protection against both existing and emerging risks When it comes to coverage, the environment is a highly complicated area. It involves everything from water pollution to air emissions, and often stems from long-term, gradual situations. Regardless of the circumstances, chances are high that any damage to the environment will be costly to repair. Fully backed by Lloyd’s of London, SWG’s Pollution Liability Insurance can offer protection against the environmental liabilities left uncovered by standard commercial general liability insurance with restrictive pollution exclusion clauses. We cover a broad spectrum of liability to address these risks SWG covers all kinds of pollution. Our policies are divided into four markets:

  1. Storage tank environmental insurance. SWG will write storage units that have been in the ground some 25 to 30 years.

Who’s it good for: These policies are ideal for:

  • Gas Stations
  • Petrochemical and chemical plants or storage facilities
  • Pharmaceuticals manufacturing or distribution facilities
  • Repair Garage operations
  • Residential Heating Oil Tanks
  1. Premises environmental insurance. Coverage includes both sudden and gradual pollution events, along with a list of potential costs and penalties.

Who’s it good for:

  • Manufacturing
  • Petrochemical and chemical plants or storage facilities
  • Pharmaceuticals, such as testing facilities and Laboratories
  • Waste management
  • Healthcare and/or education facilities
  • Oil, Gas and Mineral mining operations

These policies are designed for landlords and manufacturers who lease land and whose waste product is potentially harmful.

  1. Contractor’s environmental insurance. Provides blanket coverage for contractors on a claims-made-and-reported-basis.

It serves a range of sectors who might not know what ground contaminants they’re digging up and releasing into the atmosphere. Who’s it good for: Available on annual or project-specific short-term basis, these policies are ideal for:

  • Construction contractors including land development
  • Remediation and/or restoration contractors
  • septic/water services
  • Waste collection and/or transportation
  • Logging Operations, and many more
  1. Air quality insurance. Protects against moisture, moulds, asbestos, and other pollutants released into the atmosphere in both indoor and outdoor settings.

Who’s it good for: Air quality policies are needed in construction, residential properties, and healthcare facilities against airborne pollutants causing respiratory diseases and other health hazards. Takeaway Pollution claims are not going away. In fact, their numbers are increasing. Contractors need savvy brokers on their side to not only protect them from current risks, but also to use their industry know-how to predict liabilities around the corner. Taking a creative and flexible approach to pollution underwriting, SWG is well equipped to provide policies that cover the combined risks and customized coverage needs for contractors across a range of industries, providing the most comprehensive coverage possible. — Outline notes: News source: