Contractor’s Pollution Liability Insurance Toronto

Typically, contractor’s liability insurance or general contractor’s insurance will have total environmental exclusion. This means that any problems caused or aggravated by a project (e.g. the spread of moulds, oil spills, etc.) will not be covered by contractor’s liability insurance. 

In industries like construction, demolition, restoration, storage tank installation, landscaping and the like, there is always the risk that mistakes, lack of information, or sometimes just poor timing, will trigger gradual or immediate environmental pollution. If resulting in health risks to people within the vicinity, this can be disastrous for the company and the contractor – not just in terms of reputation but also in terms of liabilities. 

That’s where KASE Insurance comes in. To be protected from environmental claims, contractor’s pollution liability insurance in Toronto is a must. We can help you get the coverage you need in case of environmental pollution.

Oil spill cleanup

What is Contractor’s Pollution Liability Insurance?

Pollution liability insurance is an insurance policy that provides added coverage for contractors against environmental claims. Most, if not all, types of contract workers need this type of insurance because work in this industry has a high potential to cause or aggravate environmental pollution.

To further understand this insurance policy, let’s quickly go over how pollution is defined. Pollution occurs upon the discharge, release, or escape of any solid, liquid, gaseous, or thermal irritant, contaminant, or pollutant. As such, pollution can occur within structures as well as in outdoor settings.

Why is Pollution Liability Insurance Important?

In the past decades, legislation has been put in place to protect Canada’s natural environment. As a result of this, in the event of sudden or gradual pollution resulting from construction, demolition, landscaping, and the like, environmental claims can go well above $100,000. Another point to consider is that claims can pile up because of cleanup costs or health risks/damage to the people near the site.

Environmental liabilities could happen as a result of a simple mistake or lack of foresight when working with hazardous chemicals, or even just a matter of chance. If this happens, steep claims can be demanded from you or your company, whether or not it’s anyone’s direct fault. Having pollution liability insurance in Toronto is not just a smart business practice, but a necessity in these times.  

What Does Contractor’s Pollution Liability Insurance Cover?

The main objective of contractor’s pollution liability insurance in Toronto is to provide coverage from environmental claims when pollution occurs or is worsened by any work being done. Although this policy can be tailored for different professions, let’s discuss the main coverages that this insurance policy generally has – along with example scenarios:

1. Sudden Environmental Pollution

These are incidents of pollution that occur immediately after a specific task is completed by a contractor. In such events, this insurance policy will cover the environmental claims and legal fees. Here are a few examples:

  • A construction contractor accidentally strikes an old tank that nobody was initially aware of. The contractor will be held responsible for the resulting spill and would face environmental claims.
  • A janitorial contractor accidentally mixes cleaning materials containing ammonium and chlorine, resulting in the formation of a toxic gas which leads to toxic respiratory distress for the people in the vicinity.
  • A paving contractor encounters heavy rain right after applying a tack coat on a new road and the toxic material is washed into a nearby body of water. Though the rain could have been unforeseen, the contractor will be held responsible and environmental claims can be made.

2. Gradual Environmental Pollution

Gradual environmental pollution happens after a span of time when the incident of pollution can be linked to a recently completed project. Contractor’s pollution liability insurance in Toronto will cover the environmental claims and legal fees in such events. Here are a few examples:

  • An HVAC installer completes the installation of an HVAC system, but days later people in the building complain about breathing problems and the building closes temporarily as a result. Though the HVAC may be installed with the right specifications, if no other cause can be traced, the contractor can be held responsible and sued.
  • A mechanical contractor works on helping to remove an underground tank. If days after the contractor’s work, the tank’s leakage becomes evident and cannot be linked to another cause, the contractor could face environmental claims for the spill.

3. Mould & Legionella Coverage

This policy under pollution liability insurance in Toronto covers environmental claims resulting from the release and/or cultivation of mould or Legionella. Here are a few example scenarios:

  • Mould can be discovered by a renovation contractor during the project. If afterwards, the mould spreads within the structure, the contractor could face environmental claims.
  • Legionella is a bacteria that could be inhabiting a water source. Breathing the mist from contaminated shower or air-conditioning units for larger buildings will give affected people Legionnaires’ disease. A contractor involved in the installation or maintenance of the aforementioned could face environmental claims.

4. Emergency Response Costs & Clean Up

In cases where the resulting pollution requires an emergency response or clean up efforts, this insurance policy will cover the cleanup expenses as well. A common example of this is when any project causes an oil spill. Or in an earlier example, it could be toxic material such as that coming from the tack coat of a new road spilling into a body of water due to sudden heavy rain. 

Who Needs Contractor’s Pollution Liability Insurance?

Incidents of environmental pollution can come from anywhere and happen anytime, whether indoors or outdoors. Possibly the most worrisome attribute of environmental liability is that it can be caused by something totally outside of anyone’s control. It can happen because of a simple mistake that leads to big consequences, lack of information, or just plain chance. That’s why it is advised for all contractors to ensure that they are covered by pollution liability insurance in Toronto. 

Of all the types of contractors though, the ones working in industries in the following list have the highest risk of their work resulting in environmental pollution, however, it’s not limited to these professions

  • Carpentry
  • Construction
  • Demolition
  • Janitorial Services
  • Landscaping 
  • Masonry
  • Pesticide and Fertilizer Application
  • HVAC Installation
  • Oil and Gas
  • Painting
  • Plumbing
  • Roofing
  • Storage Tank Installation
  • Street/Road Maintenance

Anyone working in construction should consider getting contractor’s pollution liability insurance straight away.

Why Choose KASE Insurance?

Working in construction, landscaping, renovation, demolition, plumbing, and similar industries requires one to be prepared for anything. We’ve reiterated above that environmental claims are steep, and can cost around $100,000.

As one of the top insurance providers in Canada, KASE Insurance is your partner in securing you or your employees’ protection from environmental claims through our pollution liability insurance policies in Toronto. KASE Insurance has wide experience working with clients from various industries, including the construction industry. When you choose our services, you can be certain that you’re in good hands.

Contact us today and let’s get started!

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