Were you aware? Before the mid-1980s, Pollution Liability coverage could be found under a standard Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy, but once federal and state environmental authorities began holding businesses accountable for the pollution they were causing, and the corresponding claims began to pour in to pay for the costs of pollution clean-up, the need was seen to separate pollution risk off the CGL and onto its own policy form. As a result, the standard CGL policy now explicitly and broadly excludes pollution coverage.
Clearly, if you’re a company involved in work with pollutants or hazardous material, or work you perform produces hazardous material, then you would need to carry Pollution Liability coverage.
But what if your business doesn’t routinely deal with pollutants? You could still be liable if your work causes “pollution or contamination incidents”. Consider:
- Do you use mobile equipment that contains fuel, oils, hydraulic fluid, or other liquids that could leak and cause “pollution” if there was an accident damaging the equipment?
- Do you do work on buildings that may contain materials that could be considered pollutants if they were disturbed?
- Does your work touch or attach to building exteriors where water intrusion can occur? Water intrusion can lead to mold, which is a highly litigated pollutant.
- Does your work touch or attach to building-interiors, where drilling into the wrong part of a wall and nicking a pipe can cause a small leak, or a condenser can drip unseen in the attic, or a loose pipe could leak, all of which could cause mold?
Pollution Liability insurance can cover bodily injury and property damage claims, along with clean-up costs, caused by pollution or contamination incidents arising from your business operations. If you want to upgrade your protection for these types of claims, please give us a call and one of our pollution coverage experts can help you get covered.