In recent years, the risk of environmental pollution has reached very high levels of attention, above all in consideration of new important laws and regulations, both at European level (Environmental directive of the European Union 2004/35/Ce absorbed in Italy with Legislative Decree 152/2006) and at world level.
In order not to be taken unprepared and without defences, all the possible dimensions of liability must be assessed:
- Damages to third parties, including the interruption or suspension of business;
- Costs for reinstating safe conditions;
- Costs for cleaning-up the site (including the company’s own site);
- Possibility of a gradual pollution the consequences of which perhaps will be discovered after a long time.
A problem of evaluation is also linked to the fact that the risk of contamination is instinctively associated to the concept of “release” and, by and large, to the presence of dangerous substances in the liquid state.
Contrary to this, on the other hand, note that circumstances like fire, explosions, blasts or natural events are accompanied in almost all cases by contamination of the places and surrounding areas in which they occur, striking first of all the area of the production site and, an important fact which is often not considered, the civil liability policy of the company does not cover the damages that occur inside the plant. On the other hand, the fire or All Risks policy, under the item “demolition and clearance costs” does not include, in the list of insured assets, the land on which the plant is built.
It is also necessary to bear in mind that regarding the cyclic nature of damages from pollution, these are not at all rare, since the likelihood of them happening is at the very least equal to that of the same events as those guaranteed by the fire policy.
Conceived originally to provide protection against the harmful consequences suffered by third parties, since the same generally determine the catastrophic nature of an event, the pollution policy has undergone a profound evolution, extending the guarantee to the assets owned by the insured party, in particular those located inside the plant where the activity to which the policy refers is carried out.
The pollution policy identifies the claim with the occurrence of the obligation for the insured party to intervene irrespective of his or her actual responsibility for causing the damage: this is translated into shorter compensation times.
Differently from what we may imagine, no sectors exist a priori that are more or less exposed to the pollution risk. The Bazzi & Partners team is able to analyse your situation in order to define risk scenarios and protection instruments.