When purchasing insurance for your business, you may not consider the environmental ramifications of your work. Environmental insurance, then, is more than a throwaway policy you buy “just in case”. Your business needs quality environmental coverage that can protect you from any allegations, missteps, or civil claims.
How Does Environmental Insurance Work?
Environmental insurance pays for the support and defense of your business when you’ve been accused of:
- Polluting the environment
- Disturbing the environment
- Violating local environmental laws
- Upsetting a delicate ecosystem
At times, accusations could come from neighbors, local businesses, concerned citizens, townships, counties, cities, the state, or even the federal government. You file a claim against your environmental insurance policy when these accusations come to light and you need support.
What Does Environmental Insurance Cover?
Environmental insurance has a broad range of coverage options, generally handling:
- Bodily injury
- Cleanup costs
- Legal defense
- Settlements and judgments
- Property damage
- Waste disposal
- Pollutant transportation
- Business interruption or losses
- Additional expenses
- Reputational losses
You should consider how environmental insurance can protect your business, given the industry within which you work. Moreover, you may need environmental insurance if your business is threatened by environmental upheaval.
Additionally, environmental insurance may be required when you bid for particular jobs. Keep these requirements in mind when bidding for work, submitting quotes, etc.
Types of Environmental Insurance
What types of environmental insurance are available? You have a few options that you can use to align with the needs of the job, including:
- Environmental impairment: Environmental impairment is good coverage for businesses or properties that face environmental risks, including apartment complexes, industrial facilities, hotels, junkyards, etc.
- Contractor’s environmental liability: Contractors use this coverage to protect themselves against accusations of environmental damage—or when their projects are threatened by outside environmental forces.
- Professional liability: Generally offered under a professional liability policy, focusing on the qualifications of your business, licenses or certifications held, etc.
Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Environmental Insurance
When shopping for environmental insurance, avoid these mistakes, which could derail your protection:
- Choosing coverage not fit for your situation
- Not factoring in completed projects
- Not carefully calculating the potential losses that could be incurred
- Purchasing policies that don’t address mold or fungi
- Ignoring endorsements specific to your situation
- Ignoring contamination-based losses
Avoiding Environmental Losses
Avoiding environmental losses is more difficult than purchasing insurance, but it’s also more important. What will do to ensure that your business operates safely? Are you taking the steps needed to safeguard your employees?
In short, you must protect your staff with:
- Protective gear
- Safety training
- Safety protocols
Additionally, you should carefully research the policies and procedures required by the location where you’re working. For example, you may need to manage industrial gases or chemicals differently in Newark, Edison, Jersey City, etc. If you don’t know what to do, you’re doing your staff and your business a disservice.
Moreover, you should carefully review these procedures during a job. If you’re working on the same site for long periods of time, an audit of your policies and procedures is the only right thing to do. If you’re working on short jobs, ensure that you’ve completed your cleanup and environmental procedures prior to leaving the site that day.
Contact The Dale Group for More Information on Environmental Insurance
Reach out to our team at the Dale Group for more information on environmental insurance coverage and how to protect your business. Remember, your situation is different from your competitors, and you must select policies that are tailored to your needs. We’re happy to help you choose what you need, save money, and deploy programs that make your business safer and more efficient.