How Pollution Liability Insurance Protects Contractors

April 2022
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Is your construction business insured against pollution events?

A pollution event can be disastrous for your business, bringing lost costs, lawsuits, and reputational damage to even the most conscientious contractors.

From a major chemical spill to site runoff after heavy rainfall, pollution events are more common than you might think.

Find out how pollution liability insurance can protect contractors against the risks of an environmental mishap.

What is a Pollution Event?

What is a pollution event, in insurance language?

"An irritant or contaminant, whether in solid, liquid, or gaseous form, including -- when they can be regarded as an irritant or contaminant -- smoke, vapor, soot, fumes, acids, alkalis, chemicals, and waste."

Chemicals, waste, fumes, mold, and asbestos... they're all contaminants commonly found on construction sites.

Who Needs Pollution Liability Coverage?

All construction operations have the potential to trigger an environmental incident. This means anyone from general contractors to specialty tradespeople can benefit from pollution liability coverage.

Pollution liability insurance can protect contractors who specialize in:

  • Abatement and remediation
  • Above/below ground storage tanks
  • Demolition
  • Electrical, HVAC, and mechanical
  • General contractors
  • Grading, site, and excavation
  • Industrial and pipeline
  • Maintenance
  • Roofing
  • Sewer, waste, and utility
  • Street and road construction

How Does Pollution Insurance Work for Contractors?

Pollution liability is designed to protect businesses against pollution conditions caused by their work, as well as work performed by subcontractors on their behalf.

Pollution liability insurance provides coverage for:

  • third-party injury
  • property damage
  • defense
  • pollution clean up

General Liability Excludes Pollution Events

Aren't you already covered against third-party injury and property damage with your general liability policy?

Most general liability policies contain a pollution exclusion that excludes bodily injury or property damage arising from a pollution event. Pollution events are typically excluded in most GL policies.

GL also doesn't cover the costs of cleanup or remediation, which could be the most costly part of a pollution event.

Protect Your Contractor Business Against Accidental Pollution

No one plans on releasing contaminants into the environment. However, accidents can and do happen on job sites every day. One small incident or event could lead to big costs and even bigger damage to your reputation. Ask your insurance professional about pollution liability insurance to see how you can protect yourself from the risks of the trade.

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