If you’re a small business owner, you may not have thought about pollution liability yet. Maybe you don’t work with obviously hazardous material. Or maybe you thought hazardous waste incidents were covered under one of your other insurance policies. We're here to help you decide if pollution liability insurance is right for your company.
A pollutant can be anything that can escape, be released, or dispersed into the environment. Pollution liability insurance gives businesses protection from claims or costs that arise because of pollutants that their business uses, handles, produces or exacerbates. Sometimes, small business owners think that just because they’re not hauling or storing hazardous waste, they don’t need to worry about pollution liability insurance.
A pollution liability policy will help you narrow down what your risks are so that in the event of an incident, your pollution insurance can kick in and cover the costs.
Ask your insurance agent about what you need in your pollution liability policy to cover your company’s unique situation.
This kind of pollution insurance specifically addresses incidents that happen during transportation. This kind of insurance makes sense if you are hauling any kind of item or substance because, as mentioned before, one accident can cause a lot of mess. This is usually part of a standard pollution liability insurance policy—but double check with your insurance agent to be sure.
If your company stores hazardous material, this specific pollution coverage will address bodily injury and property damage if there’s a leak, breach or incident.
Policies like these cover legal ramifications. Whether the pollution is on-site or off-site, if someone got hurt, there were cleanup costs, or if there was property damage, legal liability insurance can help offset the costs of lawsuits. This kind of liability coverage is appropriate for companies.
This kind of policy address legal problems, too, but it is specific to individual contractors. Contractors' pollution liability allows your insurance to focus in and cover you when you need it
It used to. Before the 1980s, general liability did cover pollution. Now, however, we have a better grasp on how harmful pollution can be, how damaging it is, and we’ve seen that cleanup costs can cost millions. Nowadays, most general liability policies include an “absolute pollution exclusion,” which means any incident connected to hazardous waste or pollution is not covered.
Environmental cleanup projects can be large-scale events that require specialists and time. Or they can be small events that still require experts. When you’re prepared to deal with a potential environmental risk, your business can recover from the incident faster with pollution insurance.
The environmental risks posed by whatever hazardous materials you work with are too great to toy with. If you work with anything that can be spilled, released or that can escape, you need to anticipate that material doing so and creating a toxic situation.
Because some companies work directly with hazardous waste material and others don’t, annual premiums for pollution liability insurance varies widely. Your company may do most of its work online and therefore need to focus more on cyber security threats than pollution. Your insurance agent may still remind you that the building you work out of is old, and the possibility of mold or asbestos is high. In that case, they might still advise you to get pollution liability.
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