Environmental Impairment

 

What is it?

Environmental Impairment insurance protects you against damages and clean-up costs caused by pollution, whether as a direct result of your actions or as a result of the historical use of your premises. While it is not a compulsory insurance, the recent Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations make it clear that a polluter must pay for damage to land, water and affected natural habitat.

 

Who needs it?

Almost any business has the potential to cause an environmental incident for which they might be liable. If you store or transport potentially hazardous materials you are likely to be familiar with their risks, but fewer people are aware that if you own your business premises you may also be liable for any pollution that occurs as a result of the previous owners’ use of the site. For example those who own an underground storage tank containing any kind of substance that seeps into the surrounding earth may face claims for environment impairment, whether it was they who used the tank or a previous owner.

 

While oil is an obvious pollutant other substances, such as milk (from a dairy), can cause even more damage, due to the way they break down and harbour harmful bacteria.

 

What Environmental Impairment insurance covers

This specialist cover protects an organisation against the legal liability arising from activities that result in pollution causing environmental impairment. If you buy a property that has underground storage tanks that are no longer used, an Environmental Impairment policy will cover you for any potential damage to the environment.

 

What having Environment Impairment insurance means to you

By having this cover in place you can rest assured that you will be protected against both visible and unseen pollution risks that have the potential to harm the environment, led to legal action against you and damage your reputation.