Pollution Liability Insurance


The release of pollutants (hazardous or otherwise) can happen suddenly, accidentally, or gradually. As businesses continue to change and evolve, they should consider how their pollution impacts the community as well as the environment. From there, businesses should consider how they can protect their bottom line and their reputation should property or environmental damage occur.

What is pollution liability insurance?

Pollution liability insurance (or environmental impairment liability insurance) is a coverage that protects businesses against third-party claims and first-party exposures resulting from pollution conditions caused by covered operations performed by or on behalf of a business. These claims could be for bodily injury, property damage, or environmental damage.

Types of pollution liability insurance that we offer:

Our premises pollution liability coverage is designed to help protect customers from pollution releases at, on, under, or migrating from a location they own or lease, providing first-party coverage for business interruption, clean-up, and emergency response costs, as well as third-party coverage for clean-up costs, property damage, and bodily injury. 

Because quick action is needed to contain and mitigate the impact when pollutants are released into the environment, we’ve also built in coverage for reimbursement of emergency response and clean-up costs. Our commercial claims specialists are experienced in dealing with pollution claims and can quickly connect you with qualified incident response and remediation experts.

This policy can also help businesses comply with common landlord/tenant obligations and other agreements you may have in place.

Who should consider this coverage?

  • Auto dealers
  • Auto repair garages
  • Building/property owners
  • Building supply wholesalers
  • Commercial printers
  • Concrete product manufacturers
  • Consumer goods manufacturers
  • Dry cleaners
  • Fabricated metal product producers
  • Farm machinery equipment dealers
  • Food and beverage manufacturers/wholesalers
  • Fuel dealers
  • Lawn and garden equipment dealers
  • Machinery and equipment manufacturers/wholesalers
  • Non-critical auto part manufacturers
  • Tire dealers
  • Service stations

Contractors pollution liability provides coverage for work done by or on behalf of a contractor resulting in the release of a pollutant into the environment. It provides protection for both ongoing and completed projects, and includes coverage for property damage, bodily injury, clean-up, legal defence, and regulatory fines.

Who should consider this coverage?

  • Carpenters
  • Communication contractors
  • Driveway and sidewalk contractors
  • Drywallers and painters
  • Electrical contractors
  • Excavation and land grading contractors
  • Exterior contractors (window, door, awning, and siding)
  • Fence and decking contractors
  • General contractors
  • Infrastructure contractors
  • Iron and steel contractors
  • Landscaping contractors
  • Masonry and stone contractors
  • Mechanical contractors
  • Plumbing contractors
  • Project construction contractors
  • Septic tank contactors
  • Water, sewer, and pipeline contractors

Environmental impairment isn’t just restricted to your property or worksite. Whenever supplies, equipment, or waste are moved, there’s potential for pollution to be released into the environment.

Transportation pollution liability provides protection for pollution emanating from products or materials during loading or unloading while being transported, shipped, or delivered by your business or by a carrier on your behalf. It is available as an optional coverage with both premises pollution liability and contractors pollution liability policies.

Coverage is provided on a difference-in-condition basis and applies when these activities are not covered by the primary automobile, marine, aviation, or railroad protective liability policy.

Who should consider this coverage?

  • Businesses that move equipment or supplies between locations
  • Businesses that transport equipment or waste
  • Businesses that contract others for equipment or waste removal


Did you know? 

Did you know? 

In December 2020, the Canadian Construction Documents Committee (CCDC) updated the CCDC 41 document, and made it a requirement that contractors “have limits of not less than $5,000,000 per occurrence for bodily injury, death, and damage to property.”


When would pollution liability coverage come to the rescue?

Here are some circumstances where pollution liability insurance could be extremely useful:

Internal corrosion of a 2,000L fuel tank led to a leak of 200L of fuel into the surrounding environment. Because of this 250 tons of soil had to be remediated. The company’s property and CGL policy did not provide coverage for pollution liability, so they were responsible for covering all expenses out-of-pocket. The business also had to halt operations because of this, which also led to loss of income.

A general contractor was hired for a building renovation project. During construction, a water pipe within a wall was accidentally nicked, creating a slow leak that continued for several weeks before being discovered. Because of this, a large amount of mould developed. The clean-up costs were not covered under the contractor’s CGL policy and the business did not have any supplementary pollution liability protection. This means they were responsible for covering the full clean-up cost.

A contractor was hired to clean an underground gasoline tank. During that process, the tank was damaged, resulting in the spill and seepage of fuel into the soil beneath a driveway. The clean-up required removal of the driveway and remediation of the contaminated soil below. The CGL policy contained an exclusion for pollution clean-up so there was no coverage. If the contractor had a pollution liability insurance policy, it may have helped cover the clean-up and property damage.

A company was hired to remove debris from a construction site, including several old drums containing chemical waste. While on its way to the disposal site, the truck was involved in a traffic accident and the drums, which were improperly secured, were thrown from the vehicle and broke open. The chemicals seeped into the surrounding soil and into a waterway adjacent to the road. A specialist had to be called in to help with soil and groundwater remediation. A lawsuit was also brought forth against the business by the local municipality, and the company was fined by environmental regulators. Because the company’s CGL policy did not provide coverage for pollution liability, it was responsible for covering all expenses out-of-pocket.


Get the pollution liability protection your business needs

Our environmental impairment liability coverage can help protect you from costly expenses while also ensuring compliance with contractual obligations. It goes above and beyond standard commercial general liability (CGL) and property policies, which usually exclude coverage for any environmental damage. And with emergency response reimbursement and access to qualified experts in case of an incident, we’re here to help support you when quick and decisive action is needed to minimize environmental damage.

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