Most businesses have ignored this cover due a combination of cost and ignorance.
The minimum premium has reduced in fits and starts over the last 10 years from £10,000 to under £600. Premiums will ultimately reduce to a level where every business, property owner and some households will be able to consider it, but in the meantime, what about you?
- or Move any Chemicals or flammables?
- Have any petrol or diesel storage tanks?
- Own land or have tenants that could leave you responsible for contamination?
- Near a river, lake or water course?
- Purchasing a brown field site?
The evolution of Environmental liability (abridged version)
- Cover was included under standard Public Liability policies.
- Statutes (such as the 1990 Environmental Protection Act) were brought in so that liability didn’t depend on the four torts (Negligence, Nuisance, Rylands v Fletcher & Trespass).
- Public Liability policies were restricted further to covering Sudden, Accidental Unintended and Unexpected (all four components necessary) only.
- The Bartoline incident (2006) highlighted that liability policies did not include Statutory clean up.
- Environmental Damage Regulations (2009) takes matters a step further by replacing the term ‘pollution’ with (the much wider) ‘environmental damage’. This is only one of a succession of statutory instruments, so now there is a Strict liability (avoiding the need to prove fault).
As a result, there are a range of covers that can be considered to protect your position...
- Own site damage and statutory clean-up
- Own site injury
- Off-site clean-up and liability
- Off-site property and liability
- Biodiversity Historical
- Directors & Officers Protection
Do you have an oil tank, flammables or chemicals and what is your proximity to a river or water course? There doesn’t even have to be a spillage. Firewater run off (cocktail of water, foam and whatever was being stored due to a fire) is also a source of risk. For more information, or a quotation.