Why does a general or trade contractor need pollution liability coverage?



A contractor removing lead paint from a bridge is sued for bodily injury (BI), property damage (PD) and pollution cleanup costs (PCCs) after failing to control airborne particles, resulting

in contamination at a nearby park.



Fly ash is used in cement for a building’s foundation. Residents bring claims against the concrete contractor alleging BI from mercury leaching into the building’s air ducts. Defense costs are incurred to establish no causal link.


An electrical contractor is sued for PD and PCCs when faulty workmanship causes a process pipe malfunction at a chemical plant.


A contractor at a manufacturing facility accidentally ruptures underground tank lines and incurs emergency response costs to clean up the spill. Regulators find additional contamination and pursue the contractor who incurs defense costs to prove lack of responsibility for the entire cleanup.

Fire supression

A contractor performs maintenance on an existing gas fire suppression system when a sudden discharge of toxic gas unexpectedly occurs, resulting in multiple claims for BI.

General contractor (GC)

The GC at a large building site hires a subcontractor to excavate and then dewater and decontaminate the water from the excavation pit. The subcontractor fails to completely

decontaminate the water prior to discharging it and inadvertently discharges contaminated water into a nearby tributary. The GC is held responsible for PCCs.

Highway, street and road

A contractor receives a cleanup mandate from the state when asphalt sealant fails to harden and runs off into road drainage and out to a nearby creek.


A contractor performs work at a new office building. After completion of the work, black mold in the surrounding walls appears due to minor drips from pipes that were not adequately tightened during the work.



Every day, contractors face pollution liability risks on the job site. Accidents can and do happen – in an instant there can be property damaged, lives impacted and professional reputations on the line.

An inadequately insured contractor can experience severe fi                                                hardship in the event a pollution liability claim is made,

or a suit is fi        Travelers’ specialized Environmental Practice helps contractors manage their pollution liability exposures

and protect their assets through underwriting excellence and extensive knowledge

of environmental risk.

Contractors Pollution Liability insurance provides coverage for bodily injury, property damage and pollution clean-up costs as a result of pollution conditions for which the contractor may be responsible. This can include a discharge of pollutants brought to the job site, a release of pre-existing pollutants at the site, or other pollution conditions due to the performance

of the contractor’s covered operations.

Specialized account executives provide pollution liability insurance products to help separate  the environmental risk from the business opportunity. As a surplus lines broker, you should be aware that coverage is exclusively available for Travelers Commercial General Liability clients and

is provided on a surplus lines* basis.

Contractors PolLution Liability Insurance

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