Contractors face an incredible amount of danger simply by the nature of the profession. Injuries, property damage and lawsuits are all day to day risks for large contracting businesses and individual contractors alike.
What most people overlook is the danger related to pollution. Many contractors work with hazardous substances or on sites that are near important property, such as water pipes, lakes, schools, etc. Pollution isn’t always poisoning water, however. It can be anything that contaminates or disturbs the natural world around it, such as pesticides.
Pollution Liability Insurance Quote
Contractors pollution liability coverage can cover:
• Damage of natural resources
• Jobsite pollution
• Non-owned disposal site
• Transportation of hazardous materials
• Mold and fungi
• Emergency cleanup costs
Incidents can be sudden and accidental or appear gradually. Lawsuits concerning pollution can be incredibly expensive. Without a policy, a single contracting company or individual contractor could lose thousands of dollars and even go out of business.
Different Types of Pollution
There are various types of pollution a contractor may be accused of that threaten environmental or public safety.
The four main types of pollution contractors may face include:
• Operations related to construction. Construction is particularly dangerous when it comes to pollution. Excavation, drilling, chemical spills and the agitation of natural dangers such as asbestos are all incidents that may occur while a contractor is working on a large project.
• Commercial property exposure. This relates to pollution that can arise from the property owned by the contractor, such as leaks and oil or fuel spill contamination.
• Transportation. Contractors travel frequently for work purposes and often carry equipment and chemicals. An accident involving these, such as chemical or fuel spills during transport, can cause a large amount of damage and injury, which can easily turn into a lawsuit.
• Disposal. Contractors have a duty to properly dispose of hazardous waste and materials. If a contractor fails to do so, they may be sued for any damages or injury the waste causes.
Does General Liability Insurance Cover Pollution?
General liability insurance is a basic policy that covers accidents of bodily injury, property damage and advertising injury related to non-professional negligence. While this does cover bodily injury and property damage caused by the business, it does not cover claims regarding pollution.
These two coverages may be added to a single business insurance policy, however. A business owners policy (BOP) combines general liability insurance and commercial property coverage for small businesses and can be tailored to include additional coverages. Larger businesses can purchase a commercial package policy, which combines the same coverages with more flexibility.
How Much Pollution Coverage Does a Contractor Need?
The amount of coverage needed depends on the scope of the business. In general, most basic pollution liability policies start at $1 million. Contractors that consistently work on large construction projects or transport hazardous materials may need higher limits of pollution liability coverage.
Contractors involved in demolition, general contracting, waste and excavation may need more pollution insurance than lower risk contractors.
How Much is Contractors Pollution Insurance?
Premiums for contractors pollution vary depending on a variety of factors, including:
• Size of the business
• Claims history
On average, pollution insurance costs around $3,500 to $7,500 a year (about $291.66 to $625 a month). A larger deductible may mean lower monthly premiums, but it will also mean paying more out of pocket for a claim. Bigger businesses generally pay more for insurance.
All contractors face a certain amount of risk when it comes to pollution. Contractors should speak with their insurance agent about finding an affordable pollution policy tailored for the business’ specific pollution liability risks.