Without environmental insurance, every business is at risk
Many companies underestimate the risk of causing environmental damage, directly or indirectly. Moreover, they often wrongly (toevoegen : suppose the can) rely on their fire insurance, director's liability insurance, civil liability insurance or cyber insurance. Only environmental insurance adequately covers the environmental risks of your business.
Fire insurance seldom covers clean-up costs
Fire insurance does cover clean-up costs, but only in the event of an insured risk (e.g. fire, certain types of lightning and flood). Suppose the risk is insured, even in that case clean-up costs are usually not covered or only for a minimum insured amount.
- A major fire at a printing works is extinguished. The following day, the soil around the site turns out to be seriously contaminated by, among other things, the extinguishing agents used by the fire department. The printing company is obliged to have the soil decontaminated and the fire insurance company does not intervene in the decontamination costs.
Cyber insurance excludes environmental damage
Cyber insurance does not cover material damage after a network interruption and therefore does also not cover subsequential environmental damage.
- Hackers shut down the automated cooling of a water treatment plant in an attempt to obtain ransom. The hot water spills into a nearby river and kills the fish, damaging biodiversity. Cyber insurance does not intervene for environmental damage.
Environmental damage not covered by directors’ liability insurance
For unintentional breaches of environmental laws, directors' liability insurance usually provides coverage for defense costs in terms of the claim against a director, but the environmental damage itself is not part of the compensation.
What about the general liability insurance ?
A general liability insurance only compensates for accidental pollution and the clean-up costs for third parties - and often only up to a certain amount. Environmental damage that is caused gradually is not covered, nor is your own environmental damage.
Environmental insurance tailored to your company: Enviro Care
There is a false sense of security among entrepreneurs, while environmental regulations, especially in Flanders, are becoming increasingly stringent and the costs and penalties associated with them are consequently rising. Damage running into hundreds of thousands of euros is certainly not unusual. Your company does not even have to process or manufacture polluting substances to be held liable for environmental damage. Only an environmental insurance covers you against accidental environmental damage and (optionally) gradual environmental damage.
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