Protecting the environment is more than just the right thing to do – it’s a legal imperative. The quality of the air, water, and land can cause far-reaching and long-lasting health impacts on the people, wildlife, and plant life in the area. Businesses who work with materials that may harm the environment must be aware of the regulations and their legal obligations. Pollution liability insurance can help protect your business if your business operations cause environmental contamination.
It used to be that pollution was covered as part of a company’s general liability policy. However, in the 1970s and 80s, the dangers of asbestos were becoming widely known, with expensive claims for the clean-up for this hazardous material causing financial difficulties for many. Now, companies that work with materials that may harm humans or the environment must purchase a separate pollution liability insurance policy. New York manufacturing businesses, dry cleaners, garages, and other businesses can find protection with these important policies.
Whenever you use hazardous materials as part of your business, you run the risk of contaminating the air, groundwater, and soil near your business. Accidental catastrophic situations, such as chemical spills or explosions, can rapidly release large quantities of contaminants into the environment and require a prompt – and often expensive – response. Non-catastrophic long-term damage can also occur. In some cases, you may even be liable for damages that occur if you used materials that are later found to be hazardous. The costs of any of these events could quickly bankrupt your business without proper pollution insurance coverage.
Most pollution insurance policies can cover a range of expenses including:
Often, your policy will cover expenses for the clean-up and removal of materials that you used as part of your business operations before they were found to be harmful. With the rapidly-changing pace of science, this coverage could save you significant trouble in the long-run.
Pollution claims can be filed by a wide range of people – private citizens, other companies, local, state, and federal governmental bodies. As such, any business working with potentially hazardous materials can be at risk for an expensive lawsuit. Pollution can take the form of air emissions, groundwater or soil contamination, or the contamination of property.
Common businesses in NY that may require pollution coverage include:
Your insurance agent can help you determine if your business requires this coverage and help you find a policy that suits your needs and budgets. Premium costs are determined by the type of materials you are using, proximity to residential areas, disposal methods, and other factors.
Protecting the environment is a community effort that cannot succeed without the cooperation of businesses throughout New York. However, despite the best of intentions and safe operating practices, unintentional contamination can occur. Pollution liability insurance coverage can help shield your business from the expensive clean-up and legal fees associated with harming the environment. Contact a local, friendly agent today to protect your business and the environment!