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When it comes to environmental losses, one clear trend is “we are seeing a lot more claims,” says Chris Smy, a managing director and the global Environmental practice leader at Marsh. “Historically, Environmental insurance is perceived to be a high-severity, low-frequency [risk]. But as the business has moved toward more insureds buying operational coverage, as opposed to insurance for long-term transactional deals, more risks have been realized. This might be in part because, with regulatory developments, there’s more enforcement focus—particularly in the U.S. 

“As a general observation,” Smy continues, “this product has been conceived and perceived as a third-party liability issue. What I’m hearing from the carriers is actually there’s a lot more first-party claims [from property owners] than they would have expected.”

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