Despite Deepwater Horizon Disaster, Environmental Market Still Favors Buyers

But brokers/carriers are optimistic about increasing demand driven by Premises coverage, international growth

For weeks on end in 2010, live footage of a ruptured pipeline spewing oil underwater in the Gulf of Mexico served as a 24/7 reminder of the potential for environmental devastation. Underwriters and brokers dealing with Environmental insurance initially feared the worst in terms of the disaster’s impact on the industry.

“Everyone thought it would be the ‘Katrina’ for Environmental Liability,” recalls Marla Donovan, head of product development at Burns & Wilcox.

“It was hard to pick a set amount that would pay for the remediation, and the longer the remediation was in effect, the more expensive it became,” says Simon, adding that Chartis has ceased offering the coverage.

“That’s not to say you can’t put [a Stop Loss program] together,” Szot adds. “However, those types of policies and coverages are few and far between.”

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