September 3, 2015

Pollution Liability-Forgotten, But Needed Coverage

Most companies are very aware of their property and liability exposures. They buy insurance coverage to protect their buildings and equipment and secure liability coverage to pay for losses from automobile accidents, product defects and other types of third party incidents. What most companies fail to realize is that they may have pollution exposures as well from chemical or fuel use in its operations. Transportation of fuel, fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals to multiple locations carries with it the risk that an accident causes the materials to be spilled on their own other someone else’s property. 

Most standard liability policies – general liability or automobile liability – specifically exclude pollution losses. Other liability policies such as ’Directors and Officers’ or ’Errors and Omissions’ also typically have specific exclusions for pollution events. The only way to properly protect your company from a pollution event is to buy a pollution legal liability policy. This type of policy can provide coverage for pollution clean-up, business interruption and liability to third parties who might be affected by your pollution accident. Even if you only use the chemicals or fuel on your own property, if they are stored in tanks on your property, you may have exposures that can only be covered by a pollution liability policy. 

In order to evaluate your exact needs, you should conduct an in-depth review of your company’s current policies and identify any potentials exposures you may have. Western Growers Insurance Services can assist members with a review and provide options for the proper coverage if necessary. If you would like to get more information, contact Greg Nelson at Western Growers Insurance Services at (949) 885-2287.