[imageeffect type="shadowreflect" style="margin: 0px 20px" width="220" height="175" align="right" shadow="shadow-small" alt="" url="http://www.midstins.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/jimblog.jpg" ]
Pollution and environmental liability insurance! Isn't that just for big oil or chemical or mining companies dealing with catastrophic spills, leaks, or other losses that impact the environment? And even if our small business were to have a problem with pollution, wouldn't it be covered by our business liability policy?
Forty years ago, the answer to those questions would probably have been 'yes.' But when a host of asbestos problems appeared on the scene in the 1970s, insurance companies started to get concerned about the growing spectrum of pollution problems that could be expensive to remediate. And gradually most companies removed any reference to pollution liability from their general policies.
Today, more and more insurance companies are offering environmental liability insurance to cover pollution issues that might affect small to mid-sized businesses. And this is fortunate because due to changes in the law, even small businesses may be at risk for environmental pollution damages.
What kind of businesses should have environmental pollution coverage? The list is long, but it includes
- Contractors of all types and sizes, especially those that provide remodeling or remediation services.
- Hospitals and medical or veterinary offices.
- Gas stations, dry cleaners and even hair salons that use and store chemicals.
- Waste disposal and recycling operations.
- Transportation firms.
- Manufacturing and processing businesses.
- Operations with aboveground or underground storage tanks.
- Businesses that own, invest in, develop or manage properties - especially former industrial sites.
If you've never been faced with an environmental claim or lawsuit, consider yourself fortunate. But don't take it as a sign that you have nothing to worry about in the future. With laws and regulations on environmental issues expanding, claims and lawsuits are also proliferating.
If this discussion of environmental pollution insurance is making you wonder about your company's exposure, we invite you to talk it over with us at Mid-State Insurance. We'll help you assess your need for protection against potential environmental claims.
Then if you decide that you need environmental pollution protection, we'll put our commitment to 'individualized solutions' to work finding cost-effective coverage and tailoring it to your specific needs.