What is pollution liability insurance?
Contractor’s pollution liability (CPL) is a contractor based policy that can provide third party coverage for property damage, bodily injury and cleanup as result of pollution conditions that happen from contracting operations by the contractor or on behalf of the contractor. This coverage can be purchased by any type of contractor and it will help them fill the gap in coverage left by their commercial general liability pollution exclusion. Some examples of contractors needing this coverage include: Heating and Cooling Contractors, Electrical Contractors, Mechanical Contractors, Plumbing Contractors, Pipeline Contractors, Abatement Contractors, Environmental Remediation Contractors, Street and Road Contractors and General Contractors just to name a few. The contractor’s pollution liability policy can be purchased on a project basis or blanket basis. Project policies are what they sound like. They provide coverage for the contractor during the construction project period. Some of the project policies can include tail coverage as well. A blanket policy can provide coverage on annual basis for covered operations during the policy period.
Why a business may need pollution liability insurance
You may ask ask, “Why does my company need pollution liability insurance?”, especially if you have no pollution exposure or have never had a claim. Have you heard the recent news of the Legionella pneumohila disease? This is a severe form of pneumonia that can be fatal. Most become infected by inhaling water droplets containing the bacteria. This could come from many things such as a shower, faucet, whirlpool or swimming pool. So if you are working with water, heating and cooling systems, or any water containing source that may lead to the spread of the water droplets that contain the disease you have a need for a pollution liability policy.
Some other things to consider with pollution liability can include the following: do you haul solid goods that could release pollutants such as construction debris or treated lumber? Do you own heavy equipment that you refuel at your job site? Do you transport or have a third party transport your heavy equipment?
Scenarios where pollution liability insurance protects you
Some claim scenarios in contractor pollution liability can vary from the type of work performed. For example an excavation contractor was working on a site prep project. During the process, the contractor spreads a pocket of highly concentrated contaminant and the site became covered with contaminated soil. The project owner files suit against the contractor for spreading the contamination. Another example: A painting contractor was painting the interior of a nursing home. Residents claim they were overcome by fumes as a result of inadequate ventilation. Third example: A paving contractor was laying the final coat of black top on a new road when a heavy rain hit. The rain washed the toxic material into a drainage ditch along the side of the road and into a stream.
Pollution liability is a complex specialty product with over 50,000 coverage forms and endorsements so if you are interested in purchasing it, seek an agency that has experience and knowledge writing pollution liability insurance policies.