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Environmental Risks

A trailblazer in understanding environmental liability, our environmental risk management team has a deep knowledge and breadth of experience in analyzing and assessing your risks.

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Founded over 40 years ago, we are a pioneering environmental insurance brokerage group that has the necessary knowledge and breadth of experience to understand and anticipate your unique environmental risks.

Environmental risks and associated third-party liabilities can threaten your organization’s financial health. You must protect your balance sheet from uninsured, unbudgeted and out-of-pocket expenses associated with:

  • Environmental cleanup obligations
  • Potential long-tail liability
  • Toxic tort claims
  • Third-party liability (bodily injury/property damage)
  • Legal defense costs stemming from a wide range of environmental exposures

Insurance plays a prominent role in environmental risk management. With straightforward underwriting requirements for environmental insurance, highly flexible products and realistic yet competitive pricing, there is no reason in today's market to risk having an uninsured environmental loss.

Our environmental risk experts and insurance brokers can help you design, negotiate and deliver competitive risk management insurance programs with insurers matched to your specific environmental risk and exposure profile. Our customized approach supports favorable terms, competitive pricing and a solid platform for negotiating settlements for difficult claims.

1,000+ pollution legal liability and contractors’ pollution liability policies placed a year.

1,200+ environmental placements brokered annually.

$150mn in insurance premiums placed annually on behalf of our clients.

WTW stats as March 1, 2024

With extensive experience and expertise, our environmental practice offers:

  • Environmental insurance expertise
  • Specialized market knowledge
  • Technical support
  • Claims advocacy services

Our team can help you to:

Our team places more than 1,000 pollution legal liability (PLL) and contractors’ pollution liability (CPL) policies a year.

We serve thousands of clients worldwide ranging in size from midsize organizations to multi-billion dollar global businesses operating in multiple industries, including:

  • Chemical manufacturing
  • Commercial real estate
  • Contaminated site redevelopment
  • Contracting
  • Construction
  • Energy
  • Financial services
  • Healthcare
  • Utilities
  • Waste disposal

As a seasoned environmental risk manager, we have access to over 30 global primary insurers. We broker more than 1,200 environmental placements annually (including more than 500 site pollution programs) representing over $150 million in insurance premiums annually on behalf of our clients.

Our team leverages WTW’s global network to collect industry knowledge from each insurer interaction and placement, enabling us to provide you with the right coverage at the right price. Furthermore, our team includes environmental experts who understand regulations, enforcement and the brownfield process to enhance coverage and optimize program design.

Frequently asked questions:

Environmental risk refers to the potential negative impacts that an action may have on the natural world. Environmental risks can result in harm to people, wildlife, habitats, waterways and the air. Today, businesses must consider and address the potential environmental impacts of their actions.

Businesses are a leading contributor to environmental risks through their operations, industrial processes and supply chains. Serious environmental risks that company actions might create include:

  • Water pollution
  • Air pollution
  • Land degradation (deforestation and soil erosion)
  • Biodiversity loss
  • Waste generation

The best way to reduce risk is through governance and oversight. Organizations require proper environmental controls and standards across the business that meet or exceed local, regional or national regulations. Understanding and assessing environmental risk exposures and creating strong governance and controls to address them are essential to long-term organizational sustainability.

Risk transfer is another crucial tool to protect your organization, especially from hard-to-predict risks such as an explosion, leak or spill. Working with us, we can bring a fresh perspective that internal stakeholders may overlook, help you identify new or evolving environmental risks and develop the right risk transfer program to address them.

Site pollution liability (sometimes referred to as pollution legal liability (PLL)) insurance protects owners and tenants against losses from unknown and known sources of pollution liability at specific locations. The unknown sources may be either existing contamination that is undiscovered or contamination resulting from future releases. Known conditions may be considered with a corresponding mitigating factor (below actionable levels, engineering/deed/regulatory controls). Coverage is most often claims made. PLL can also satisfy most federal and state-specific pollution liability financial assurance requirements. PLL coverage applies to pollution losses on, at, or from and covered location and resulting in:

  • Third-party claims for bodily injury or property damage (on and off site)
  • Onsite and offsite mandated cleanup costs
  • Associated expenses for legal defense and investigation (within the policy limits)
  • Other enhancements based on risk profile (e.g., mold coverage, pollution transportation, non-owned disposal site liability, pollution, business interruption, etc.)

Contractors’ pollution liability (CPL) insurance addresses pollution conditions arising from covered contract operations performed for third parties at non-owned locations. It includes third-party cleanup costs, third-party bodily injury and property damage, including third-party business interruption and natural resource damages, pollution from transportation, disposal liability and defense costs (within the policy limits). These programs may also satisfy project-specific or fixed-base operator requirements and can be placed on behalf of the project owner(s), the primary contractor or general contractor. Coverage can be occurrence or claims made.

For specialist help discovering smarter ways to manage your environmental risk exposures, please get in touch with the contacts listed at the top of this page.

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