|Finding the Right Insurance
Fit For a Trade Contractor
||It is a misconception
that the only people who have pollution exposures are those
involved with hazardous substances. Unfortunately, this is not
the case. In truth, anybody who works with, or can be held responsible
for, the release of a substance into the environment that meets
the definition of a “pollutant” in the ISO exclusion
has a pollution exposure.
Trade Contractors are in a uniquely challenging position. While
their responsibilities are often narrowly defined in the scope
of services, they are usually one part of a multi part process.
This means that any claims that arise from a site may be brought
against any or all of the contractors who performed operations
at the location. And if the claim alleges something that is
excluded by the contractor’s CGL policy, defense may not
Specific job site exposures that different types of trades have:
• Disturbing or exacerbating existing pollutants: Many contractors
move earth, excavate, demolish, or otherwise alter existing features
of a property. If any of those contain hazardous substances (petroleum
contaminated soil, asbestos containing building materials, etc.),
the contractor can be held responsible even though he was never advised
that he would be.
• Contamination caused by materials the contractor brings to
the site, such as paints, cleaning solvents, fuels, lubricants, etc.
• Contamination caused by operations, such as cutting through
a gas line, installing flashing around window incorrectly, installing
piping improperly, failing to solder joints, roofing leaks, erosion
at site causing offsite contamination, etc.
• Contamination for which the contractor is held responsible,
such as operations of a subcontractor to the trade contractor and
actions of a party delivering materials to the site for the contractor.
In addition to job site exposures, Trade Contractors also have exposures
at the premises they own. This property, where they store their equipment
and supplies, is often the single largest equity investment they have.
Pollution at that location could reduce its value tremendously, effectively
wiping out the equity built up by the owners.
The final exposure area to note is Over the Road Pollution. This is
the exposure that vehicles have going from owned premises to job sites.
The upset and overturn of a vehicle can cause significant contamination,
even if only from small amounts of fuels or solvents they use in their
Fortunately, there are coverages available to address all of these
Contractors Pollution Liability is designed to protect the Insured
for claims stemming from pollution conditions at, on, or emanating
from a job site arising where they are performing their operations.
Premises Pollution Liability is coverage designed to protect against
losses arising from the scheduled premises, which in this case would
be the contractor’s owned properties.
Over The Road Pollution is of course, coverage for pollution events
All of these coverages are accessible for most trade contractors,
and they are all affordable. Many can be purchased together in packages,
or separately depending on the needs of the particular insured. For
the trade contractor faced with many exposures that are effectively
out of their control, consideration of this type of coverage is very
important. In the current softening market, enhancing a client’s
coverage can be done for little additional premium and will help secure
your relationship going into the future.