SWG Enviro – 4 Things to Include for a Quicker Submission

Feb 2020

From mould build-up in a residential construction site to sudden high-stakes oil spills, environmental pollution impacts all kinds of businesses, whether they’re a small contractor or a large manufacturing facility, an engineering firm or a mom and pop shop.

Polluted industrial or storage sites that are no longer active are common sources of hazardous waste, although it is unclear just how many of these sites fall under private responsibility. According to a recent study, the total liability for contaminated site clean-up recognized by the federal government was $5.8 billion in 2015. An additional $6.4 billion in liabilities was recognized by provincial governments. (1)

Time-Saving Tips for Pollution Liability Submissions

SWG ENVIRO Environmental Pollution Insurance provides coverage for a set of risks that are either excluded from or inadequately covered by CGL. This coverage includes clean-up requirements, first- and third-party claims for bodily injury, property damage, and legal expenses resulting from pollution or contamination events for which the insured may become responsible. It is designed for the unexpected and often costly exposures that every business should consider as part of its risk management program.

Submissions can be a tedious chore for brokers, and they are a crucial component to protecting a business from getting sued, especially given that environmental pollution can develop gradually. Following these four tips will greatly simplify and speed up the application process.

  1. A Fully Completed Application:

To get the best terms on a pollution liability policy, insureds must answer every question on the application. Even if it seems irrelevant to a particular client’s situation, every question exists for a specific reason.

A completed environmental application includes any applicable photos, screenshots, receipts, reports, and other relevant documents such as:

  • Copies of any environmental reports for the properties in question
  • Copies of any occupational health and safety plans, including any copies of a workplace’s Spill Prevention, Control and Containment Plan
  • Property and CGL loss-runs for the last five years
  • Prior Insurance information and applicable Retroactive Date requirements
  1. A Description of the Client’s Operations or Products:

Underwriters will want to know the scope and specifics of business operations. For Environmental Pollution, this means details such as:

  • Where their revenue is generated
  • Equipment upkeep
  • How the company oversees their employees
  • How often they hold safety meetings
  • Their protocols for handling, temporarily storing, and disposing of waste materials
  • Whether the company has its own shop facility for performing preventative maintenance

Details about subcontractors are not always required but can have significant impact on premiums.

  1. Insured’s Business and Claims History:

The underwriter needs to know:

  • How long the insured has been in business
  • The insured’s history and experience in their particular field
  • How the insured has mitigated or responded to past claims
  • Detailed information on prior claims, pay-outs and reserves

Be sure to include details about the insured’s business and claims history so the underwriter can provide an accurate quote.

  1. Current Gaps in Coverage:

Including expiring policy coverage, limits and retroactive date requirements, if possible, expiring and/or anticipated premiums helps the underwriter obtain the best coverage with competitive pricing.

Brokers should also include any specific additional coverage that may be required.

Want more tips? Visit our website for more resources to help your business.

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


  1. https://www.iisd.org/sites/default/files/publications/costs-of-pollution-in-canada.pdf