Contractors face a lot of risks on job sites, including those stemming from pollution liability exposures. This comes with the territory and shouldn’t be taken likely. Just as one protects its business in the event of a crew member getting hurt on the job or a property being damaged from fire while under construction, environmental risks are as real and critical to an operation’s viability and require protection. Some of the pollution exposures contractors face include contaminated soil disposal and the accidental release of fuel oil, chemicals and toxic gases from broken pipelines, utilities, and stationary and mobile fuel tanks. For these reasons and more, Contractors Pollution Liability insurance is a must-have component for the construction industry.
Just take a look at a couple of actual claims cited by a major insurers, underscoring the need for insurance coverage: A contractor responsible for fueling airplanes at a major airport had its hose rupture causing a 5,000-gallon jet fuel spill that blanketed the ground. With Contractors Pollution Liability policy, the cost of remediation is covered, avoiding a devastating loss for the contractor. In another case, a paving contractor sprayed an oil-based binding layer on crushed aggregate, and planned to complete the asphalt roadway the following day. A heavy overnight rain caused the binding layer to run off into the groundwater supply, contaminating residential wells. Contractors Pollution Liability insurance provides coverage for the property damage and cleanup costs.
What’s more, contractors also face the potential for loss when performing certain type of work, such as Renovation, Repair and Painting RRP) jobs. Under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) RRP rule, effective April 2010, contractors that perform these types of projects that disturb the lead-based paint in residential properties (including multi-family properties), child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. For instance, for work performed on pre-1978 buildings, painting contractors must sample the paint to determine whether lead is present, and employ adequate measures. Moreover, the RRP rule affects almost anyone involved in renovation industry – including builders, contractors, carpenters, drywallers, plumbers, electricians, and those who do windows, siding, roofing, HVAC, and more. Contractors Liability insurance coverage will respond in the event of a bodily injury, property damage, and cleanup costs stemming from operations performed by the contractor or operations performed on the contractor’s behalf.