Pollution | Mold, Lead, and Asbestos Exclusions

Pollution | Mold, Lead, and Asbestos Exclusions
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This is a reminder that environmental or pollution coverage is EXCLUDED FROM the General Liability policy.  This means you have NO COVERAGE for any claims relating to any contaminant or pollutant, including, but not limited to, mold, asbestos, lead, etc.  Affiliates doing rehabilitations, repairs and disaster response work should strongly consider this coverage.  These types of claims can be very large, and could potentially put you out of business if coverage is not put in place to protect your affiliate for this exposure.  If you would like a quote for this type of insurance, please contact us.

Mold, lead and asbestos:  All General Liability/Excess policies contain mold, asbestos and lead exclusions, either in the core policy form or by endorsement.

A Brief Overview of Government Regulation:

  • Lead:
    • Paint – The use of lead-based paint in residential structures was first prohibited in 1971 (Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act).  At that time, it only addressed residential properties that were constructed or rehabilitated by the federal government.  It wasn’t until 1978 that the federal government banned all consumer use of lead paint.  Today, any residential property, hospital or health care facility, school or day-care center, or any commercial property where children under 6 years old may be present is subject to stringent renovation, repair and painting requirements that require the use of properly licensed contractors.
    • Water – The use of lead pipes, plumbing fixtures and solder in plumbing systems was banned in 1986.  Most lead contamination comes from exposures within the building such as pipes, water cooler coils, leaded metal fountains and lead service lines.
    • EPA Guidelines
  • Asbestos:  The EPA started banning the use of asbestos as early as 1973 but only as respects spray-applied material used for fireproofing and insulating.  Since then, there have been numerous other EPA bans targeting specific uses of asbestos but it wasn’t until 1989 that the EPA banned most asbestos-containing products.  That ban though was subsequently overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  In 1990, the EPA prohibited spray-on application of materials containing more than 1% asbestos to buildings, structures, pipes and conduits unless certain conditions are met.
  • Mold:  The earliest mold claims appeared in 1990 where faulty workmanship led to excessive moisture which resulted in mold.  Since that time, there have been thousands of mold-related claims (Mealey Report – 50 state overview).  Even if the proximate cause is faulty workmanship though, statute of limitations / repose could preclude your client from going after the negligent contractor(s).  The EPA provides Building Air Quality guidance only.
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Recommended Courses

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