Pollution Legal Liability Insurance: Coverage Every Site Needs

Liability risks can come in many shapes and sizes on a property. While most of these exposures are well covered by a general liability (GL) policy, crucially, some are not. Most GL policies do not cover environmental liability claims, meaning site owners or operators could be unknowingly underinsured or uninsured for these events. 

One way they can get this coverage is through specialized pollution legal liability insurance (PLL). This kind of policy provides vital protection against environmental liabilities—such as pollution event cleanup costs, bodily injury, property damage, and legal expenses.

In this guide, we’ll give you a rundown of the most important aspects of pollution legal liability insurance. You’ll learn what it covers, why it’s important for site owners and operators, and how to determine the pollution insurance coverage cost. With this knowledge, you can make sure your client’s site exposures are completely covered, regardless of what the future has in store.

What is Pollution Legal Liability Insurance?

Pollution legal liability insurance is a specialty liability insurance policy that provides additional coverage for environmental claims at fixed sites not typically covered by a GL policy. With this policy, your clients are protected from covered environmental claims that happen on, at, under, or migrating from or through a covered location. It will also help cover indoor contaminant conditions like mold or asbestos.

For instance, if chemicals leaked from a storage tank into a nearby stream, this policy would provide liability coverage for costs associated with the cleanup. This could include cleaning up the site pollution itself, emergency response costs, regulatory fines, and hospital bills for affected people downstream.

What Does Pollution Legal Liability Insurance Cover?

PLL can cover a whole host of exposures. The most common of which are:

  • On and Off-Site Cleanup: Helps with costs related to cleaning up the pollution event, regardless of whether that cleanup takes place on or off the covered location.
  • Third-Party Claims for Bodily Injury and Property Damage: Insures your client against third-party lawsuits if someone is injured or property is damaged due to the pollution event.
  • Business Interruption: Covers lost income after operations get shut down due to the pollution event.
  • Legal Expenses: Pays for legal costs associated with defending against or settling a pollution-related lawsuit.
  • Emergency Expenses: Covers emergency cleanup expenses that result from an urgent pollution incident.

Check out Distinguished’s PLL coverage to learn more about what else is covered with PLL insurance.

Why is Pollution Legal Liability Insurance Important?

On covered locations, anything can happen. Regardless of whether your client owns the site or is a tenant on it, they need appropriate levels of liability insurance to cover them in case a pollution event happens.

GL policies typically exclude pollution-related events, so your client could be left underinsured or uninsured if a hazardous chemical is released on-site and causes damage or injury. And if your client owns or operates out of an older building, there could be unknown historical pollution events already contaminating the site. 

Pollution legal liability insurance would help cover the costs of cleaning up and properly disposing of these contaminants. 

Do Site Owners and Operators Need Pollution Legal Liability Insurance?

Yes, all site owners, operators, and tenants should have some form of pollution legal liability insurance to cover the environmental exposures they face.

It doesn’t matter what the site is used for—there’s always a risk that their operations could cause or be interrupted by a pollution event. For hotels, the exposure they’d want to be covered could be legionella caused by improperly installed pipes, while for a manufacturing site, it could be a ruptured storage tank. 

Insurance brokers need to learn what exposures each property faces to explain how this kind of insurance is an affordable way of buying peace of mind for site owners, operators, and tenants. 

Learn more about how to cover site pollution exposures with Distinguished’s Pollution Legal Liability Plus.

How Much Does Pollution Legal Liability Insurance Cost?

Environmental insurance is competitively priced, which means even smaller sites could benefit from this kind of insurance policy.

The pollution insurance coverage cost varies depending on the sites it covers, so making a blanket estimate on a specific policy is difficult to do. However, the pollution insurance coverage cost is dependent on a variety of factors—such as the size and nature of the site, exclusions, the type of operations being done there, and any potential environmental risks associated with them.

If your client is interested in learning how much pollution legal liability insurance could cost them, we can typically get you a quote or indication in less than three days with rush options available. Simply register your brokerage and submit an application form to get started.

3 Scenarios That Would Require Pollution Liability Coverage

For clients, it’s easy to say a big pollution event isn’t going to happen to them. But the truth is, it can happen to anyone, and million-dollar problems can start from something incredibly small.

Here are just a couple of examples to consider:

Plumbing Mistakes

Plumbing is found at nearly every developed property. And because it involves water or possibly chemicals, even small plumbing mistakes can compound into major problems.

Say one section of pipe isn’t hooked up properly. Water could stagnate there, allowing legionella bacteria to grow and accumulate. This could lead to an outbreak, causing harm and even death for building tenants. The resulting liability claims would be astronomical and likely wouldn’t be covered by a basic GL policy.

Transportation Problems

Manufacturing sites have trucks going in and out all the time. Usually, there aren’t any incidents, but they do happen from time to time.

If one of those trucks turns over while carrying hazardous materials, then your client could be on the hook for:

  • The cost of cleaning up the spill
  • Damage to nearby property
  • Negative health effects on nearby inhabitants

A pollution legal liability insurance policy would help cover these costs up to the limits of the policy.

Asbestos in the Walls

Asbestos may not be used anymore in the US, but it’s still commonly found in old buildings.

When asbestos is inadvertently disturbed and released, it creates headaches for everyone. Site owners or operators must: 

  • Consult with qualified professionals to perform proper asbestos testing.
  • Take precautions to ensure a safe environment for the building occupants. 
  • Pay for cleanup costs and dispose of the asbestos properly to ensure it doesn’t spread and harm the health and environment of the surrounding areas.
  • Respond to claims for third-party bodily injury and property damage.

Pollution legal liability insurance can help cover these unexpected expenses, including the costs of cleanup, disposal, and legal defense.

Why Brokers and Clients Love Distinguished’s Environmental and Construction Professional Insurance Coverage

With coverage as situation-specific as PLL, you want to make sure you’re working with an insurance provider that knows what they’re doing. That way, your client gets the right coverage, you save time, and everyone goes home a little happier.

Distinguished Environmental and Construction Professional is a specialty insurance provider that has helped insure thousands of properties across the nation. Specifically, our environmental insurance policies, like our Pollution Legal Liability Plus coverage, can give your clients the ultimate peace of mind by offering:

  • Expertise: Our specialized Environmental and Construction Professional Insurance team has decades of experience in this industry. With this expertise comes tailored insurance solutions that meet the needs of any client.
  • Quick Quotes: Our dedicated team has the experience to get bindable quotes back to you ASAP. Our average time for a quote is three days, but rush options are available in certain situations. 
  • Flexible Coverage Options: Distinguished Environmental and Construction Professional offers a broad range of environmental insurance options that can be customized to meet your client’s unique needs. Moreover, our experienced underwriters can adjust policies to adapt to your client’s needs.
  • Superior Claims Handling: Distinguished Environmental and Construction Professional has an experienced and dedicated in-house claims team of attorneys that handles claims efficiently, fairly, and effectively. With outstanding claims handling, clients feel more at ease, knowing they are adequately protected and cared for during challenging times.

Get a Quote From Distinguished Environmental and Construction Professional

Get the protection your clients need with Distinguished’s Environmental and Construction Professional Insurance policies today. Our industry-leading solutions, backed by expert professionals with over 300 years of combined experience, will provide your clients with a policy tailored to their unique needs and circumstances.

To get started, register your agency with Distinguished. Afterward, fill in an application form and email the completed form to Doug Stepenosky at DStepenosky@distinguished.com. 

Pollution legal liability insurance isn’t our only insurance offering. Take a look at any of the pages below to see what other insurance policies we can offer your clients. 

FAQs About Distinguished’s Environmental and Construction Professional Insurance 

Who is the carrier for Distinguished’s Environmental and Construction Professional Insurance? 

Disintguished’s coverage is provided by SiriusPoint, which holds an A- rating from AM Best and S&P.

What limits do you offer?

Our liability limit is set up to a maximum of $25,000,000 per incident and up to $25,000,000 in the aggregate.

How do I submit business?  

For new brokers: First, register your brokerage and then send a filled-out application to Doug Stepenosky at DStepenosky@distinguished.com.  

For returning brokers: Feel free to contact your favorite Distinguished Environmental and Construction Professional Underwriter.

Not seeing the answers you need?

Check out our more detailed Environmental and Construction Professional Insurance FAQ, or reach out to one of our insurance experts for more details.  

About Distinguished Programs

Distinguished Programs is a leading national insurance Program Manager providing specialized insurance programs to brokers and agents with specific expertise in Fine Art and Collectibles, Environmental and Construction Professional, Executive Lines, Inland Marine, Real Estate & Builder’s Risk, Community Associations, Hotels, and Restaurants. Property and Liability products are distributed through a national network of agents and brokers. Serving the same core markets and partnering with the most stable and reputable carriers, Distinguished’s high-limit Umbrella programs remain the clear choice in its area of specialty for superior coverage, competitive pricing, and attentive service. Through thoughtful innovation, stemming back to 1995, Distinguished Programs fosters growth and opportunities for its brokers, carriers, and employees.

View a full list of our programs and submit business with Distinguished.

‣ Register Your Agency
‣ Learn More
‣ Contact Us

New call-to-action