The recycling industry is booming – are recycling facility owners and operators properly covered against environmental exposures?
The recycling industry has recently seen tremendous growth due to the green initiative, as well as the extreme economic downturn that has taken place over the past year. People around the country are taking a sustainable approach to living, using less, and recycling the materials that they do use. Rapidly rising food and fuel prices are stretching peoples’ paychecks and motivating them to find new ways to save money. While many recyclers are construction companies and contractors looking to make a profit from their scraps, average households in states that reimburse people for recyclable goods are also joining this trend. Even people who don’t get reimbursed for recycled goods understand how important it is to participate in recycling and reusing the items they use.
As more materials are shipped to local recycling centers, these facilities are increasing their environmental exposure, sometimes without knowing it. Materials may arrive that cannot be recycled, thus proper disposal is required. The influx of goods means longer periods of storage, and the recycling machines are running for longer periods of time, consuming more fuel. In addition, more traffic on these sites may increase the potential for the accumulation of petroleum hydrocarbons in the soil.
Recycling facility owners and operators should make sure they are adequately protected against these exposures by purchasing an environmental insurance policy. The following products will work to protect these facilities and their operators from claims and help to ensure their future organizational success and stability:
General Liability/Contractors Pollution Liability/Premises Pollution – A combined form providing General Liability coverage, as well as Contractors Pollution Liability coverage for any offsite contracting work and Premises Pollution Liability for the onsite recycling operations.
Contractors Pollution Liability – Coverage designed to protect from third party claims for damages caused by “pollution conditions” arising from the insured’s covered operations.
Premises Pollution – Coverage for both on-site and off-site clean-up, defense costs, and third party bodily injury and property damage claims.
Most insurance carriers are adjusting their policies to fit the needs of the market and the unique requirements of their insureds. There are many issues centering on the operations of recycling facilities that could potentially turn into catastrophic insurance claims. It is an agent’s responsibility to stay on top of current trends, innovative new insurance products, and ways to help their recycling center clients obtain the best coverage programs possible. What does this mean for the agents? A happy insured, more control over the agent’s business, and ultimately, increased revenue. plastic granulator