The Broadening Scope of Pollution Legal Liability Insurance

Risk Management Magazine

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PUBLISHED ON: August 25, 2015

From the early 1990s through the early years of this century, pollution legal liability (PLL) insurance policies were increasingly specialized. The policies were marked by detailed underwriting and tight targeting of specific types of policyholders. Then as now, the scope of such coverage often depended on the definition of “pollution conditions” (sometimes called a “pollution event”). Today, however, the trend is toward a broadening of the phrase.

A typical PLL policy will provide coverage for liabilities as a result of a “pollution condition.” In the early days of such policies, “pollution conditions” were defined as:

The discharges, dispersal release or escape of smoke, vapors, soot, fumes, acids, alkalis, toxic chemicals, liquids or gases, waste materials or other irritants, contaminants or pollution into or upon land, the atmosphere or any watercourse of body of water, which results in bodily injury or property damage.