Still thinking about environmental cover or pollution insurance?

Still thinking about environmental cover or pollution insurance?

As a business owner in Australia, you may be responsible for any environmental pollution created by your operations, whether accidental or intentional. That’s where Environmental Liability, also known as Pollution Insurance or Pollution Liability Insurance, becomes essential.

After all, it’s not only your reputation that takes a hit if you pollute the environment. Tightening legislation means that the legal burden on businesses that cause harm to the environment can be quite severe. Whilst large multinationals may be able weather these costs, SMEs don’t have the same financial resources.

Understanding Environmental Insurance

Understanding Environmental Insurance and what it does and doesn’t cover is essential to the ongoing success of your business. For example, many business owners erroneously believe that their Public & Products Liability Insurance covers them all types of pollution events that happen over time. That’s not so, because in many instances it may only provide limited cover for sudden and unforeseen accidental pollution.

If you’re unaware of the differences between these two types of policies, your business can be exposed to significant costs. These costs can include defence costs, compensation to affected 3rd parties, clean up and business interruption costs associated with any downtime. This is in addition to the reputational damage you may suffer as the public becomes aware of the pollution event.

What does Pollution Liability Insurance cover?

Pollution Liability Insurance protects your directors, managers and business against allegations or actual environmental pollution. Clean-up costs, legal expenses, third party injury and or damage compensation as well as other expenses, such as investigation and technical reports.

It’s also important to know that there are more specified Pollution Insurance policies which covers clean up of contamination at your premises.

If you’re not sure what types of pollution incidents can harm the environment, here are a few examples taken from NSW EPA.

  • Unauthorised release of chemicals into the air via smokestacks.
  • Tankers roll over into creeks and discharge their contents.
  • Overflowing sewerage systems.
  • Illegal dumping of waste.
  • Factory fires.
Who can benefit from pollution insurance?

Pollution Insurance can benefit business owners and contractors who produce, store, transport or handle commercial quantities of hazardous/dangerous materials, chemicals or waste regularly. It can also be of benefit if your tenants handle potentially contaminated waste. Whilst this type of Environmental coverage has generally been more relevant to large industrial manufacturers, oil refineries and nuclear facilities, many of Australia’s state EPAs are beginning to focus on SMEs as to their responsibilities and obligations.

To discover whether your business can benefit from Pollution Liability Insurance, talk to an local insurance adviser about your needs today.

Important Information 

This communication including any weblinks or attachments is for information purposes only. It is not a recommendation or opinion, your personal or individual objectives, financial situation or needs have not been taken into account. This communication is not intended to constitute personal advice.

We strongly recommend that you consider the suitability of this information, in respect of your objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on it. If you are interested in discussing this information or acquiring an insurance product, you should contact your insurance adviser to obtain and carefully consider any relevant PDS or policy wording before deciding whether to purchase any insurance product.

SME Business Insurance

SME Business Insurance

Business Insurance is used by many businesses, but it’s best suited to SME-type operators.

Liability Insurance

Liability Insurance

Despite the very best of intentions, accidents can still happen in any business. Public and Product Liability Insurance  protects you against claims for personal injury or damage to a third party.

Find your local Insurance Adviser

Talk to your local Adviser to get advice about your insurance needs and to get a quote