Environmental insurance coverage has grown significantly in the construction industry over the last five years, according to William P. Hazelton, executive vice president, environmental and construction, for ACE Group.
Hazelton says that the recent escalation in demand for environmental coverage is primarily due to most construction contracts now including a requirement for the coverage along with other insurance. About five years ago, contractors didn’t need an environmental policy to bid on many projects, but today it’s almost always required.
Tighter regulatory requirements also factor into the trend. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is paying closer attention to intrusion of potentially harmful vapors into commercial and residential buildings. These can be from environmental contaminants in the subsurface that can be disturbed during construction.
Companies also need to be aware of air quality issues including from mold contamination, vapors from carpeting or furniture, and exhaust fumes from a loading dock located too close to a building’s ventilation system. These hazards can be addressed with pollution liability coverage.