bodily injury, property damage, cleanup expenses, and for any damages to the local natural resources.

Another commonality facing environmental losses is that advances in technology over time can increase the exposure of Insured’s to potential losses. For example as specialized equipment is developed to measure contaminants, it creates a new threshold. In a cleanup project in which the goal is to achieve 0 levels of a particular contaminant, a change in measuring technology could dramatically change the costs in cleanup.The last characteristic of environmental losses is that they can increase exponentially overtime as the contamination migrates further from the source. A recent example of the spreading of hazardous contaminants away from the source of a loss is the BP Oil Spill. Minutes after the leak occurred, millions of gallons of oil started spewing out into the Gulf of Mexico. Weeks later the oil destroyed local beaches, commercial fishing, and tourism as close as Alabama and as far away as Florida.

Unfortunately many environmental exposures facing businesses and individuals are difficult to identify, and often occur unexpectedly. Environmental loss exposures tend to elude most insured’s because they often arise from activities that have been conducted for many years, and/or they may be created by extremely small quantities of hazardous materials which are difficult to detect or measure. Here we will review some of the problems facing those with environmental exposures.


Most Environmental losses are often very expensive. Traditionally most environmental remediation laws suggest that the person who causes the pollution may be held completely liable for any damages incurred. Furthermore, the polluter is often considered retroactively liable. This means that they can be held liable for paying the costs of

Common Characteristics Facing Environmental Exposures