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What is environmental impairment liability insurance?

Industries and workplaces can unintentionally have a negative impact on the natural ecosystem in which they operate, be it suddenly or gradually over time. To cover this, environmental impairment liability insurance can be split into two key areas:

  • Retrospective environmental impairment insurance
    can apply to historic pollution on land that belongs to you, whether you owned the land when it occurred or not.
  • Standard environmental impairment insurance
    policies are more proactive and cover pollution that happens throughout the lifecycle of your business. This can include both sudden and accidental pollution as well as slower, more gradual pollution.

Why is environmental impairment liability insurance important?

The nature of many business operations means that pollution or environmental damage could occur at any time. While sudden and accidental pollution cover can be included in a public liability insurance and commercial combined insurance policy, retrospective cover is very rarely included, which means that investing in an environmental impairment liability insurance policy could be crucial to make sure your business is fully covered.

Costly third-party claims could be made:

  • For nuisance
  • For bodily injury
  • For damage to property
  • By a regulatory authority demanding clean-up of land or restoration of biodiversity

Environmental impairment liability insurance can protect your business and provide cover for these types of liabilities, as well as other costs – such as legal fees - that could be involved.


business pollution incidents happen each year in the UK

Gov UK


of business are actively measuring their carbon footprint

British Chambers

1 in 2

UK businesses admit that their customers would care they were to negatively impact the environment

British Chambers

We see ourselves more as your business partner, rather than just an insurance broker

We know that getting good advice is about far more than supplying quotes and managing renewals. At NFP, we look to understand your business and your goals, uncover your risks, and solve your problems as a trusted partner, rather than just place products with you. As your insurance partner, our goal is to ensure...

Your insurance programme is suitable for you

There are no gaps in your cover

You are paying the right level cover

You get the support you need, should a claim occur

Who do we support with environmental impairment liability insurance?

Regardless of the type or size of your business, or the industry you operate in, we can look to source environmental impairment liability insurance to give you peace of mind that your business is covered against the unforeseen.

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The costs of an environmental cleanup are considerable enough, even before you factor in any damages payments, legal fees and fines. Without the necessary cover, this level of financial consequence could spell disaster for a growing SME. As your environmental liability insurance broker, our team will support you to find the cover you need whilst providing ongoing advice and guidance that aligns with your business’ needs.

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Large corporations

No matter how careful you are, the wider the scale of your business, the more opportunities there may be for accidental environmental damage to occur. We will sit down with you to scope out your whole operation, identifying your needs and your risks – no matter how routine or complex - to deliver a tailored solution that is designed with you in mind.

Oil in water

Environmental impairment liability claims example

In 2012, two contractors were commissioned to carry out re-development work at a hospital in Dorset. During the project, diesel escaped from a poorly made connection in the oil supply network and by the time the leak had been discovered during a routine heating systems test 2 years later, over 11,000 litres of diesel had been spilled into the groundwater.

Following an investigation by the Environment Agency, negligence on the part of the contractors in the lead-up to the spill was deemed to have caused it, resulting in a combined fine of £180,000 for the two businesses.

Speak to our environmental impairment liability champion

Our team of environmental impairment liability insurance champions are here to manage your risks and claims pro-actively, and use their vast experience to find the best environmental impairment liability insurance solutions for your business.