SWG ENVIRO: On-Site Protection with Premises Environmental Liability

March 9, 2021

Your client may need Premises Environmental Liability Insurance if they:

operate on an industrial site,

have on-site storage tanks, and/or

handle potentially hazardous materials.

Premises Environmental Liability is designed to protect against both “sudden and accidental” and “gradual” pollution events, which are fairly broad terms. Here’s what each term means.

“Sudden and accidental” is interpreted to mean that the pollution event took place in its entirety and a specific time and place. Examples include a sudden spill, fire, or explosion. With “gradual” coverage, the insured does not need to worry about proving that the incident had a sudden and specific time element. However, insureds should be aware of the distinction between “unknown” pre-existing conditions and “new” conditions leading to the non-sudden and gradual pollution event. Examples include seepage over time, mould, and asbestos.

Broad and Tailored Environmental Coverage - All In One Policy

SWG ENVIRO Environmental Pollution Insurance is designed for the unpredictable, costly exposure every business must consider as part of its risk management program. While many pollution-related incidents are preventable, there is always the risk of an unexpected spill, contamination, or environmental condition. Environmental insurance policies cover:

clean-up requirements

first- and third-party claims for bodily injury

property damage, and

associated legal expenses resulting from pollution or contamination events for which your business may become responsible - whether such events are "sudden and accidental" or "gradual.”

Clients in every industry are subject to environmental risk and liability, which makes the need for a customized pollution insurance program essential in managing their exposures. SWG’s environmental insurance products provide our clients with the broad coverage they need to protect their business from clean-up costs, defense costs, and legal obligations.

At SWG we provide customized coverage for Premises Environmental Liability, Contractor’s Environmental Liability as well as coverage for Storage Tanks. Often, we provide all three categories under one customized policy, with limits starting at $250,000 up to $5,000,000 (higher limits upon referral).

Protecting Premises from Sudden and Gradual Pollution Events

SWG ENVIRO Premises Environmental Liability (PEI) policy addresses the risk of pollution arising at specified premises. Coverage is provided on a claims-made and reported basis. Our Premises Environmental Liability is customizable to include “Insured Work” and/or Aboveground and Underground Storage Tanks.

Coverage Highlights

Premises Environmental Liability:

Sudden and gradual pollution events

Broad definition of pollutant including asbestos & mould

Illicit abandonment of pollutants

On-site and off-site clean-up costs

Restoration costs

Emergency response costs

Natural resource damages

Compensation for third party bodily injury and property damage

Nuisance claims

Civil fines and penalties

Punitive damages, where insurable by law

Legal defense costs

Coverage Highlights

Retroactive cover for historic work

Transported cargo

Work conducted off-site at third party facilities

Waste disposal / Non-owned disposal sites

Contractual liability e.g. in leases

Above and underground storage tanks on your premises

We Cover:

Includes but is not limited to the list below. Contact us if you don’t see what you are looking for.


Oil and gas

Petrochemical and chemical


Electricity generation, transmission and distribution


Power and water utilities

Waste management

Logistics, transportation, and warehousing

Real estate

Healthcare – Retirement Homes, Nursing Homes, etc.

Education – Childcare, Daycare, etc.

Visit our policy page for more details. Or, if you didn’t see what you were looking for on this list, contact us.

Content is current as of the date of broadcast and is subject to change without notice.