From sudden accidental oil spills to slow, gradual pollution, if your business is found liable for environmental damage of any kind you may find the clean-up costs threatening your very business.

Business ethics are a hot topic, and never more so than when it comes to impacting the environment. Strict environmental policies can be enforced by regulators, and may result in civil or even criminal allegations.

The government’s Environmental Damage Regulation 2009, aimed at those carrying out activities that may cause imminent threats of environmental damage, can be enforced by the Environment Agency or your local authority.

Even if your business is careful and conscientious, accidents happen.

Environmental damage comes in many forms. While no business sets out to damage the environment, accidental damage should be planned for.

Case studies:

• A landowner was accused of contaminating controlled waters with sediment which was allegedly caused during tree felling operations, conducted by contractors

• An agricultural business was responsible for an accidental spillage of fungicides and insecticide on a bridge from a faulty tractor sprayer, which contaminated the watercourse beneath and had a significant impact on invertebrate and fish inhabitants.

• A fire at a chemical manufacturing plant was extinguished with water. Contaminated run-off water entered an estuary and eventually the sea. Authorities fined the detergent manufacturers £1.7million.

• An above-ground diesel storage tank was not adequately maintained, leading to a break and eventually a gradual leak which reached the sea. Clean-up costs amounted to €40,000.

• A shooting estate was found to have damaged over 4,000 square meters of a Site of Special Scientific Interest in Durham. The company was fined £50,000 plus over £230,000 in legal costs.

If your business is found liable for environmental damage, you may find the staggering clean-up costs threatening your business.

That’s where Remediation Insurance comes in.

A facet of Environmental Liability cover, Remediation Insurance provides cover for complementary and compensatory remediation, the payment of which is a requirement under the Environmental Damage Regulation 2009. This is to fund the required clean-up project or restoration work.

It can cover both ‘sudden and accidental pollution’ and ‘gradual pollution’, as well as other types of environmental damage.

It is often unclear how much clean-up operations will cost until they are underway, as a greater spread of contamination may be discovered, a higher concentration of pollutants, or failure of the technology being used. This can pose significant financial risk to any company responsible for paying the works. Remediation Cost Cap Insurance is designed to minimise this uncertainly, capping costs associated with the remediation in the event they overrun.

Insure Risk can arrange Remediation Insurance for your business. Call 0845 130 4207 for more information.