Debris Removal and Pollution Damage



Adjusters International Disaster Recovery Consulting

Debris Removal and Pollution Damage How These Additional Costs Impact the Property Claim

By Paul O. Dudey, CPCU; Donald S. Malecki, CPCU


Today, maintaining an insurance program that adequately protects a business means being aware of an unprecedented number and variety of complex exposures.

Since its inception, Adjusting Today has offered important information on such exposures—particularly as they relate to the property claims adjustment process—to leading agents, brokers and business professionals.

That effort continues in this latest edition as we focus on the timely issue of how debris removal and pollution damage costs affect property claims. Our feature article—prepared initially by Paul O. Dudey and updated by Donald S. Malecki—takes a close look at what is and what is not covered under basic policy provisions, including some steps that can be taken to arrange more adequate protection.

Complementing this article is a piece by veteran public adjuster Patrick W. Bickford, SPPA, who provides examples of actual debris removal and pollution losses he has witnessed during his years in the field. Mr. Bickford is a member of the Board of Directors of Adjusters International and operates AI’s Colorado office.

— Sheila E. Salvatore, Editor

A tornado tears through a small Midwestern community, ripping the roof off the main plant of a large paint manufacturer. Parts, materials and equipment are blown everywhere, and the plant is shut down for an indefinite period. At first, the insured is relieved to think that their standard property and business income insurance policies will cover all of the losses and have them back up and running soon.

Then, it’s discovered that the winds have strewn debris across the company’s own nine-acre complex, as well as onto the property of neighboring firms. And that debris from those operations has blown onto the paint manufacturer’s premises. Further complicating matters is the fact that dyes and other chemicals used in making the paints have leaked outside the plant, contaminating the ground...