Pollution Insurance: Need for Contractors Pollution Liability Surges

Posted by John Cofini on Fri, Jun 29, 2012 @ 03:56 PM

With constantly evolving contract stipulations and government regulations, New York contractors face more challenges than ever when it comes to navigating their insurance requirements. Expanding EPA regulations related to mold, lead and other pollutants have created gaps in General Liability coverage, and many types of contractors other than environmental firms are finding themselves increasingly vulnerable to these risks.

Accordingly, the demand for Contractors Pollution Liability (CPL) insurance has surged in recent years. And New York and New   who are shopping for CPL insurance face several challenges: 

  • Finding qualified insurance advisors with experience in environmental insurance
  • Finding affordable CPL and General Liability insurance
  • Insuring the work done by subcontractors who do not have CPL insurance
  • Finding insurance that meets bid specifications
  • Making informed buying decisions on coverage and price

Before buying Contractors Pollution Liability insurance, New York and New Jersey contractors should seek the advice of an expert in environmental insurance. Environmental insurance policies are notoriously complex, and they aren’t standardized the way General Liability policies are.

In fact, there are more than fifty policies available in the pollution insurance marketplace. Your insurance provider can offer you a variety of options when customizing CPL coverage for your clients, including: 

  • Multiyear policy terms for project-specific policies
  • Coverage on a claims made or occurrence basis
  • Coverage for sudden and gradual events
  • Owner or contractor controlled
  • Additional insured status for the Named Insured’s clients when required by written contract
  • Primary or excess basis

Environmental policies are also not regulated by State Insurance Commissioners, and insurance agents are not tested or trained in environmental insurance in state licensing exams. The diversity in coverage and pricing only add to the complexity. So it’s vital that you consult experts in environmental insurance to know what you need and what you’re getting.

Price shopping is not a recommended strategy. Some CPL policies eliminate coverage for subcontracted work, only cover work performed for a specific customer, or have other coverage exclusions. While these policies save you money on premiums, you only get a fraction of the coverage you need, so while the stripped down policy might look like cheap insurance, it ends up being the most expensive.

It has become increasingly challenging for New Jersey and New York contractors to operate with only a General Liability policy. More exclusions and more pollutants are driving the need to add Contractors Pollution Liability to the mix. And the most important step contractors can take in purchasing this coverage is to find an environmental insurance expert or risk management expert who is well versed in environmental coverage issues to give advice. Get that step right, and finding good CPL insurance coverage will take care of itself.

For more information, make sure to visit the environmental risk management page on our website. Also, make sure to download our construction case study collection, How Six New York Contractors Discovered Risk Management Success.”

Tags: contractors pollution liability, pollution insurance, new york pollution insurance, new york contractors pollution liability