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Environmental insurance for food, beverage and agriculture

Our insurance and support services can reduce the risk of pollution and biodiversity loss and protect against the costs, liabilities and reputational damage if an incident occurs.

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Few industries depend more on natural resources than food, beverage and agriculture.

With tightening environmental regulation and mounting public concern over pollution and biodiversity loss, there’s an increasing focus on how the sector uses resources, from land and animals to water.

As well as the risks from chemical processes, refrigerants and fuel storage, natural products such as milk can cause serious damage if they leak in large quantities.

Examples of incidents that have caused harm include:

  • A fire at a dairy plant that caused melted butter to flow into a nearby river, resulting in large-scale biodiversity loss.
  • Over-abstraction of groundwater by a brewery that caused the groundwater levels to drop, killing plants and degrading soil in an environmentally protected area.
  • Toxic wastewater from a chicken processing plant that caused an algal bloom, which killed fish and flora in local rivers.

Our environmental expertise

WTW has strong experience in environmental insurance with a specialist environmental practice.

Our team includes expertise in environmental management and consultancy, broking and underwriting.

We can help you manage and mitigate your risks, create bespoke wordings and design insurance programs that match your risk and exposure profile.

How we can help

Specialist support to reduce risk and help ensure compliance with local regulations

WTW’s environmental support advisers can advise you on how to mitigate the risk of a pollution incident, meet your legal responsibilities and achieve your environmental social and governance (ESG) goals.

We can tailor services to your business, including an environmental health check, legal compliance review and environmental training for staff.

Protection for your reputation and balance sheet

Our environmental impairment liability insurance solution not only covers your liability to third parties but also immediate impacts to your finances that a pollution event can have– from legal expenses to clean-up, restoration and loss of profits.

The policy provides access to environmental consultants, environmental lawyers, and spill response teams to limit the reputational damage these types of incidents incur.

These are costs that are unlikely to be covered under standard general liability or property policies.

What can be covered by environmental insurance

Risk types

  • Historic pollution: your past activities or a previous owners activites could have left significant pollution within the soils and groundwater beneath your site that you could be liable for.
  • Operational pollution: caused by your normal working activities and production processes.
  • Transactional: if you inherit a contaminated site in an merger or acquisition.


  • First party clean up costs: clean up costs for pollution on your own land as well as pollution that has migrated onto third party land or into watercourses. This pollution could be gradual or sudden and accidental.
  • Third party costs: including liability to third parties for property damage and bodily injury, including clean-up costs, legal defence costs and directors and officers (D&O) liability.
  • Pre-incident loss mitigation: the cost of preventative action if there’s an immediate risk of environmental damage.
  • Crisis management: access to a team of PR consultants to manage media and stakeholders as soon as an incident occurs.
  • Recovery: including site investigations, biodiversity restoration and long-term groundwater remediation and monitoring.
  • Business interruption: loss of profits if a client’s business has to close as a result of an incident.

Talk to our specialists listed at the top of this page about how to mitigate, manage or transfer your environmental risks.

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