Facing up to environmental risk

With the pace and breadth of legislation and regulatory change throughout the world increasing, businesses are becoming more aware of the environmental liabilities they may face, both retrospectively and in the future.

The business community has, in general, been slow to focus on the potential environmental impact of its operations, but in many instances it is now being forced to take action.

Despite the drive towards harmonisation, regulations within Asia Pacific currently vary from country to country, so any company operating across more than one needs to make sure it is awareof the legal requirements and liabilities it faces.

Pollution liability is not just a consideration for the more ‘traditional’ environmental industries such as chemicals, petroleum or manufacturing; there is now pressure on any organisation to behave in a social, ethical and environmentally responsible manner. Companies’ corporate governance and compliance controls are becoming increasingly important considerations for existing shareholders. potential investors and lenders.

Legislative changes and the increasing burden of governance and disclosure means that any organisation should consider environmental issues at the most senior level. Organisations need to be aware that in many instances, their casualty policies will not cover them for pollution liabilities.

Q. Doesn’t my liability insurance cover pollution?


Actually, most liability policies offer only very narrow sudden and accidental coverage with no express protection for clean-up of contaminated soil and water. The vast majority of pollution conditions are caused gradually and not due to a specific accidental release.

Q. I don’t handle hazardous chemicals in my business, so where is my exposure?


Any business can find itself exposed to environmental liability, either due to ongoing operations or resulting from activities on your property in years past. There is virtually no way you can be certain of what took place on your site years ago, therefore any business which owns or rents land is at risk.

Q. Isn’t this coverage only economical for large companies?


The majority of environmental liabilities attach to small and mid-size companies, the very firms which are least able to absorb this unplanned and often catastrophic financial impact.

Q. Even if there is pollution on my site, who can make me do something about it?


Local authorities have been tasked with finding and assigning responsibility for pollution. The number of sites identified and the resulting prosecutions continues to increase. If you are planning to buy or sell a property, it’s likely someone will want to go looking for a problem. Recent reguIatory directives guarantee the enforcement environment will become more stringent.

Q. Isn’t pollution coverage expensive and difficult to obtain?


The underwriting process ACE has developed  is much more streamlined than in the past and in most cases, a quotation can be provided on the basis of existing documentation. As regards cost, premiums are far more competitive and commensurate with the risk posed than ever before.
Insuring environmental risk with ACE
Pollution liabilities no longer present the impossible risk management problems they once did. ACE Asia Pacific offers a full range of environmental liability solutions; from traditional risk transfer for simple operational exposures, to bespoke programmes specifically designed for complex merger, acquisition or liability relief transactions.

ACE’s environmental coverage offers a range of options including:

  • Coverage for gradual as well as sudden and accidental pollution condition
  • Coverage for historic conditions and operational exposures

  •  On-site clean-up of pollution conditions.

ACE’s environmental liability offerings go well beyond the limits of traditional casualty insurance coverage. Through global expertise and experience, ACE can help its clients identify potential risks and create solutions to minimise bottom line impacts. We can provide comprehensive hands-on management for environmental liabilities from start to finish. In many cases, working with ACE to lessen the risk of environmental issues can actually free up assets and return idle properties to productive use.

The Premises Pollution Liability policy is designed to offer a broad range of pollution liability protection for gradual as well as sudden and accidental first and third party environmental liabilities.

The Contractors Pollution Liability policy is designed to offer pollution liability protection for gradual as well as sudden and accidental third party environmental liabilities arising out of the covered operations of an insured. This coverage offers an array of coverages for an insured and their subcontractors while performing covered operations at a job site.

ACE Environmental Risk offers the ability to tailor the policy through endorsements and manuscripted language to enhance the policy to meet the specific needs of the insured.


Working with ACE

ACE Asia Pacific is part of the ACE Group of Companies ® , global leaders in insurance and reinsurance. The region comprises an extensive network of operations serving Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Our presence in China is driven by a strategic partnership with Huatai Insurance Company, in which we are the single largest shareholder.
ACE Asia Pacific has a diversified product suite which has at its core an established Property & Casualty business which is increasingly balanced by Accident & Health offerings. Supplementing these primary lines of business is a growing array of SME and Personal Lines products.

Headquartered in Singapore, ACE Asia Pacific is well respected for its creativity in Direct Marketing which broadens our reach of consumer-oriented products to meet diverse needs. This creativity in marketing is tempered by our underwriting discipline across all lines of business. We have a market reputation for prudent risk-taking which is backed by deep industry knowledge.

ACE’s is committed to meeting customers’ needs through:
*    Flexibility to handle most circumstances
*    A strong capital base that can deal with major     
*    A wide variety of innovative products and services
*    An international network of claims centres and risk 
     control professionals who know how to help clients
     reduce risk and loss costs.

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