As investigations continue into the cause of the Feb. 3 derailment and chemical spill involving a freight train carrying hazardous materials operated by Norfolk Southern Corp. in East Palestine, Ohio, the event is likely to trigger claims on a widening web of property and liability insurance policies, experts say.
The incident will have significant risk management and safety implications, and railroads and related businesses can expect greater scrutiny by insurers in the months ahead, they say.
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There are many different variables that come into play with rail accidents and that plays through into the insurance coverage, said Rhonda Orin, Washington-based managing partner at Anderson Kill P.C.
“There are trains and there are tracks. An incident can come from the train, the track and from a third-party problem like someone being on the track or something being on the track that isn’t supposed to be there,” Ms. Orin said.
Who owns the track, who owns the train and who was responsible for the object that caused something to happen are other variables, she said.
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