A Primer on Pollution Liability Insurance

Posted on: by Bozzuto -
A Primer on Pollution Liability Insurance

Construction companies and other contractors involved with hazardous substances face unique liability risks. Their work may be associated with contamination or expelling toxic chemicals into the air or groundwater. Coverage for pollution-related incidents is excluded from general liability insurance policies, making Pollution Liability Insurance required for proper protection. This insurance will protect financial interests and help cover lawsuits regarding a third party injury from a toxic substance produced as a result of your work.

Coverage, Explained 

Pollution liability insurance protects third parties from pollution caused by the insured’s activities. These policies typically cover personal injury and property damage. You may also be covered for clean-up costs to remove the hazardous substances and restore the property to usable condition or possibly qualify to add coverage for legal fees and investigation costs involved in pollution-related incidents. This usually requires a rider to your policy and an additional premium to compensate for the higher risk.

This is a coverage needed by businesses that produce hazardous waste emissions during manufacturing including the oil, agribusiness, construction, excavation businesses, waste depositories and asbestos abatement contractors.

Contractors may need pollution liability coverage when working with on-site utilities such as sewer or water lines. This type of insurance also protects cleaning services at contaminated sites and covers damage from new sources of pollution discovered throughout the job’s time frame. Pollution liability insurance is strongly beneficial for those who own a company that produces emissions, such as a farm or truck stop. HVAC installers, excavators, landscapers, and other subcontractors should certainly secure their own pollution liability insurance policies. Subcontractors’ activities are typically not covered under the general contractor and owner’s insurance policies.

Who Needs Coverage? 

The need for pollution liability insurance is very clear for companies who are involved with risks to hazardous waste exposure, but even for those who are not, it is common for property inspections to miss issues such as underlying hazardous waste. This waste could be discovered years later. Environmental laws are constantly evolving, and you don’t want to be stuck without the proper liability protection.

The policy covers claims from third parties against bodily injury and property damage caused by hazardous waste materials released during a company’s business operations. This insurance not only covers you while you are completing a job but also covers your “completed operations”. Therefore, if there are any hazardous waste materials after you have finished the job, you are protected from any liability issues.

Further Considerations 

Business owners and independent contractors must remain adequately covered to protect their financial interests. If you could be at risk for hazardous waste exposure in your business operations, it is in your best interest to consult with an agent immediately. 

When an incident has already arisen at the job site or for one of your completed operations, it is too late to purchase coverage to cover your liability risk. Remember, pollution liability is not covered under a general liability policy so secure proper protection before you are left with financial devastation. 

About Bozzuto & Co. Insurance Services, Inc.

Bozzuto & Company Insurance Services has provided business and personal insurance solutions to clients throughout California since its founding in 1981. Our experienced staff understands the unique needs that each person has when insuring their lives and their businesses, and we pride ourselves on our deeply personal customer service. We are happy to help you through every step of the insurance selection process. Contact us today at (800) 400-6394 to learn more about what we can do for you.


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