Instead, pollutant cleanup and removal from land or water, when caused by or resulting from a cause of loss covered by the policy, is covered separately as additional coverage with its own limit. Unlike debris removal coverage, this is a separate amount of insurance, apart from the property insurance limit. It applies to the sum of all covered expenses for each 12-month period of the policy, rather than per occurrence. For added premium, the amount can be increased according to the assessed needs.
“Pollutants” is a defined term in the policy. It means “any solid, liquid, gaseous or thermal irritant or contaminant, including smoke, vapor, soot, fumes, acids, alkalis, chemicals and waste. Waste includes materials to be recycled, reconditioned or reclaimed.” Any insured handling or exposed to any materials that fall within any of these categories should look closely at this exposure, evaluate the possible extent of potential loss, and consider the possible need to increase the limit to a more appropriate figure for their possible exposure.
Not covered are costs to test for, monitor, or assess the existence, concentration or effects of pollutants, but testing performed...
Debris removal and pollution damage losses don’t just happen in theory. They are real. And they can be expensive.
As the next examples illustrate, the process of removing hazardous materials can sometimes be more costly than installing the materials themselves.
We recommend to insurance buyers and their agents or brokers to examine a policy’s property insurance and debris removal and pollution limits in light of the magnitude of these potential loss exposures. – Patrick W. Bickford, SPPA
(These are examples of direct property losses only. They do not include general liability exposures which often accompany such losses but are outside the scope of this discussion.)