Industry News

May 13, 2014

New Day Underwriting publishes 2014 Market Update for environmental, construction coverage

Source: http://ifawebnews.com, May 12, 2014

New Day Underwriting Managers, a specialty intermediary of environmental and construction-related professional liability insurance coverage, released its 2014 Market Update, available to agents and brokers.

The new report, which New Day says is a product of the company’s collective knowledge and expertise, was specifically developed to help agents, brokers and their clients identify optimal solutions in a constantly evolving and highly competitive commercial construction, pollution and environmental insurance marketplace.

“Today’s buyers have more alternatives than ever before with new carriers entering the market in 2013 and even more planned for 2014,” said Jefferey S. Lejfer, president and CEO at Hamilton, N.J.-based New Day. “In addition, there are a variety of new and enhanced coverages that were only available to few in the past.” He added that the goal of the report is to enable agents and clients “to navigate through all the complexities and find the ideal professional liability protection that is unique to their individual businesses and services.”…

April 11, 2013

ISO’s CGL Changes for 2013 – Part III

Source: Claims Journal, April 9, 2013
By: Chris Boggs

Insurance Services Office’s (ISO’s) four major filings in commercial property, business auto, businessowners coverage, and commercial general liability (CGL) make 2013 a big year for insurance professionals. These articles focus on the changes that begin taking effect this year in the commercial general liability forms and endorsements. (View Part One and Part Two)

Newly Introduced Endorsements

Primary and Noncontributory – Other Insurance Condition (CG 20 01). This is a new optional endorsement introduced in response to contractual wording found in many construction contracts requiring coverage extended to the additional insured be provided on a “primary and noncontributory” basis. This endorsement alters the Other Insurance Condition to specifically state that coverage provided to an additional insured is, in fact, provided on a “primary and noncontributory” basis. This endorsement applies when:

  • The additional insured is a named insured on another policy; AND
  • A written contract or agreement requires the named insured’s policy to be primary and to not seek contribution from other insurance available to the additional insured.

The endorsement applies to the CGL only, not any umbrella that may be attached. Whether and how much of an additional premium applies is subject to the insurance carrier.

Editorial comment: ISO states that this does not impact coverage. I disagree. There will be a later article exploring the primary and noncontributory requirement.…

December 18, 2012

Insurers May Face $11 Billion More in Asbestos Claims -A.M. Best

Source: Dow Jones News Service, December 17, 2012
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com

U.S. insurers may face $11 billion more in asbestos-related costs than they were anticipating, according to a new study that warns claims on decades-old insurance policies show no signs of abating.

The insurance industry has already paid out about $51 billion in claims tied to asbestos over the past quarter century, and has $23 billion set aside for future expenses. But the report from ratings firm A.M. Best concludes the ultimate cost of such claims will eventually hit an estimated $85 billion. That’s up from $75 billion in its previous estimate, published last year.

The increasing cost of each claim, the recent successes of plaintiffs’ attorneys, and the long latency periods for some of the more serious illnesses caused by the once widely used mineral mean “sizable losses are likely to continue for years,” A.M. Best said in the report, due to be released this week.

Insurers with significant exposure to asbestos claims include Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG), Travelers Cos. (TRV) and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRKA, BRKB), which has taken on billions in asbestos liabilities in recent years through reinsurance deals with American International Group Inc. (AIG), CNA Financial Corp. (CNA) and Lloyd’s of London.

While it hasn’t been widely used since the late 1970s, asbestos was once common in a variety of building materials and other products, and valued as a fireproofing and insulation material until it became clear that it presented a significant health hazard.…

September 5, 2012

U.S. Construction Firms Facing Double-Digit Increases for Liability Insurance: Marsh

Source: Insurance Journal, August 31, 2012

The commercial general liability market for the U.S. construction industry continues to firm with underwriters seeking rate increases of up to 15 percent, according to a report published by Marsh. Construction firms with poor loss histories are experiencing even larger liability rate increases and in some cases receiving non-renewal notices from their underwriters.

After nearly a decade of rate declines, insurers also are typically seeking to raise rates on umbrella and excess liability insurance of between 8 and 10 percent, according to Marsh’s August 2012 Construction Market Update.

“U.S. construction firms are experiencing a much more challenging liability market as underwriters seek to raise rates and restrict coverage to make up for years of soft market conditions. This comes against the backdrop of medical cost inflation and changes to some state statutes that have extended coverage beyond the insurers’ originally intended scope,” said Michael Anderson, Leader of Marsh’s U.S. Construction Practice.

“However, the insurance industry’s capital position remains very strong. So while underwriters attempt to apply rate increases across the breadth of their contractor portfolios the market remains competitive, especially for well-managed risks,” Mr. Anderson said.

According to Marsh’s report, rates for project-specific general liability, general liability wraps, controlled insurance programs, builders’ risk, environmental insurance, and contractors professional insurance, have generally remained flat or up only slightly in 2012.

Although the workers’ compensation market has been relatively stable for good quality risks, rates have increased in many states as underwriters continue to grapple with deteriorating combined ratios and escalating medical costs, Marsh said in its report. Forthcoming changes to the National Council on Compensation Insurance’s experience modification calculations—which help to determine workers’ compensation rates—could have a particularly negative impact for the construction industry in 2013.

“Those construction firms that proactively distinguish their risk profiles from their peers are best positioned to secure more favorable terms, conditions, and pricing from underwriters,” Mr. Anderson added.…

July 12, 2012

Chartis Expands NextGen Protection with Addition of PLL Power Pack ProtectSM

Source: Business Wire, July 11, 2012
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com

The Chartis insurers today announced the addition of PLL Power Pack ProtectSM to enhance their NextGen Protection suite of industry specific insurance products. PLL Power Pack Protect is designed to address environmental exposures associated with ancillary assets such as transmissions systems in the power generation industry.

Power generation is a continually growing and changing industry faced with an increasing amount of environmental risk exposure from ever more complicated and prevalent power transmission systems. Environmental pollution conditions at power transmission locations can cause financial hardship for the power generator, possibly affecting their ability to provide services to their customers or impacting their operating budget.

PLL Power Pack Protect is combined with Crisis Response and Crisis Management to provide an insurance solution tailored to the environmental pollution risks associated with power generation and transmission systems.

We believe this newest addition to the suite of innovative NextGen Protection products strengthens our customers’ efforts to take a proactive approach to managing the environmental exposures associated with this constantly evolving and growing industry, said Lana Keppel, Chartis Environmental Division Executive.

Drawing on its nearly three decades of experience in the environmental insurance marketplace, Chartis continues to identify industry classes that face potential exposure to environmental liability from facilities they own or operate and products and services they provide.

For more information regarding NextGen Protection from Chartis, please dial 1-800-348-4314 or e-mail environmental@chartisinsurance.com.

About Chartis

Chartis is a world leading property-casualty and general insurance organization serving more than 70 million clients around the world. With one of the industry’s most extensive ranges of products and services, deep claims expertise and excellent financial strength, Chartis enables its commercial and personal insurance clients alike to manage virtually any risk with confidence.

Chartis is the marketing name for the worldwide property-casualty and general insurance operations of Chartis Inc. For additional information, please visit our website at http://www.chartisinsurance.com. All products are written by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of Chartis Inc. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions and is subject to actual policy language. Non-insurance products and services may be provided by independent third parties. Certain coverage may be provided by a surplus lines insurer. Surplus lines insurers do not generally participate in state guaranty funds and insureds are therefore not protected by such funds.…

May 18, 2012

Annual Oil and Gas Industry Report Finds Environmental Accountability is a Top Priority

Source: Business Wire, May 15, 2012
Posted on: http://www.marketwatch.com

U.S. Shale Boom Highlights the Intersection between Public Concern and Industry Efforts

The U.S. oil and gas industry is booming under the vast potential of its shale reserves, but it also faces the increased scrutiny and responsibility that comes with drilling in the public’s backyard. An annual report conducted by BDO USA, LLP, a leading accounting and consulting organization, found a striking increase in environmentally-focused risks cited by the most influential U.S. industry players. An analysis of the risk factors listed by these companies in their most recent 10-K filings reveals that regulatory and legislative changes remain the top concern, cited by 100 percent of companies. Yet this year, those regulatory risks are tied directly to public anxiety over the environmental ramifications of shale gas extraction.

Foremost among these concerns is the increasingly contentious issue of hydraulic fracturing. Oil and gas companies are facing the challenge head-on as they develop new technologies to reduce water usage and earthquake risks. This year, 74 percent of oil and gas companies cited hydraulic fracturing regulation as a risk factor, up from 52 percent in 2011. Moreover, risks related to the impact of climate change and greenhouse gas legislation grew by 17 percent (cited by 81 percent of companies in their financial statements, versus 69 percent in 2011). As the industry touts the promise of job opportunities and energy independence, it is also bracing for the complications that accompany a burgeoning industry with decades of development ahead. Liabilities related to pollution jumped 33 percent (59 percent in 2011 to 79 percent in 2012), and litigation risks were cited by 70 percent of respondents, compared to just 48 percent in 2011.…

May 4, 2012

EPA Issues Final Emissions Standards for Oil & Natural Gas Sector

Read an Energy, Environmental and Utilities newsletter presented by Cozen O’Connor.

May 3, 2011

Essential legal guidelines for managing environmental risk when buying or leasing real estate

Source: http://www.sbnonline.com, May 1, 2011

Virtually every real property deal carries a risk of environmental liability. Prior to acquiring or leasing a site, the business should consult a competent transactional lawyer to negotiate contractual protections in the contract or lease that minimize the exposure and risk of environmental liability.

These protections may include lengthy due diligence periods, representations and warranties regarding hazardous materials, indemnification provisions, carefully drafted provisions regarding responsibility for clean up, remediation and monitoring, and holdbacks or other security for future performance.

Smart Business sat down with M. Alim Malik and Alene Taber, land use and environmental attorneys with Jackson DeMarco Tidus Peckenpaugh, to obtain an overview of environmental risks that every owner or lessee of real property should evaluate.…

April 27, 2011

Accidents at Biolabs Increasing

Read here about a report that found accidents at high risk biolabs to be on the increase.…

April 20, 2011

Ironshore Environmental Enhances Pollution Program for Education Sector

Source: Insurance Journal, April 20, 2011

Ironshore Inc.’s Environmental Insurance unit has enhanced its asset-class specific Site Pollution Incident Legal Liability Select (SPILLS) suite of products to address risk exposures within the education sector, including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, universities and other educational facilities.  Ironshore’s SPILLS EDU program provides coverages for a range of environmental pollutants, including mold, legionella, drinking water contaminants and PCB containing materials, among others.

The SPILLS EDU program provides environmental liability coverages without the need to schedule specific school properties.  Coverage is provided for first and third party on-site and off-site remediation expenses, claims for bodily injury and property damage, including natural resource damages, transportation, waste disposal activities and business interruption (without a sublimit) for pre-existing and new conditions.

SPILLS EDU policy limits are available from $1 to $30 million.