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As we have become a more eco-friendly society—focusing on ways to protect and preserve our environment—the market for environmental risk coverages has emerged as one of the clear growth-oriented areas of the insurance industry. Although the product has been available for some time in the surplus lines market, recent disasters like the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill have brought increased attention from brokers, carriers, and consumers.

“Environmental insurance first became available almost 30 years ago,” explains Jim Hamilton, a vice president with Crump Environmental Brokerage, a division of Crump Insurance Services. “In the late 80s and early 90s environmental insurance coverage was expensive because it was fairly new and there was not a lot of actuarial data on which to base rates. Much of the underwriting then was done by environmental engineers who set prices subjectively. But as we got into the mid- to late-90s, more actuarial data became available, and as a result the pricing for environmental insurance became much more objective.”

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