Asbestos Removals and Demolition Public Liability Insurance
Why Do I Need Specific Insurance?
Asbestos Removals and Demolition works carry a range of health and safety risks for contractors, business owners, and those managing or controlling the workplaces where demolition work or asbestos removal is being undertaken. Demolition Contractors and Asbestos Removalist/ Abatement Contractors generally take out insurance to cover themselves in the event of an accident or incident at the worksite during the course of their business.
However, most companies who seek to protect themselves by purchasing public liability insurance, do not realise that asbestos-related incidents are often excluded from their cover (known as an absolute asbestos exclusion) and only discover they are not covered when an incident occurs and they make a claim.
Therefore, it is important that companies ensure their coverage includes asbestos removals and demolition public liability insurance. Even demolition specialists who do not perform asbestos removal must consider mitigating the risk of an incident involving asbestos; if a previously unidentified piece of asbestos was to cause damage during demolition or dismantling services, insurance cover would still not respond due to the asbestos exclusion.
Asbestos removal companies must ensure that their asbestos removal liability is comprehensive and fit for the work they carry out, which may also include extensions to cover the transport of asbestos.
Additionally, there have been reports that damage during repairs to asbestos roofing or walls that have resulted in dust requiring clean up and decontamination have not been covered, so the range of asbestos-related incidents that are not covered by general insurance can be very broad.
Relevant cover includes:
- Demolition Insurance – Which generally covers demolition, excavation, site clearing and related cartage
- Asbestos Removalist and Abatement Contractors Insurance – Which may cover the removal of asbestos and related products including stripping, encapsulation, air monitoring and related transport
- Combined General Liability (Asbestos Removal and Demolition)
- Adjoining Buildings
- The Same Building But An Area Where Work Was Not To Be Performed
- Sub-Surface Damage
- Injury To Employees and Third Parties
- Property Damage
Asbestos Liability Insurance
Insurance cover is particularly complex when considering it can take 40 years for asbestos-related medical conditions to become apparent, and the level of exposure to asbestos does not need to be great for a person to suffer from an asbestos-related disease; asbestos, but the nature of its fibres, is very difficult to expel from the lungs, so one breath might be enough for a person to become a victim to a range of disease such as mesothelioma. Business owners must also consider the effects on their employees and liability due to poor repair work in the past.
Public Liability Insurance
Furthermore, asbestos claims are complex to manage due to the uncertainty surrounding who is actually liable; is it the landowner, employer, contractor, or another third party? Even demolishers and asbestos removers who are not at fault may find the finger pointed at them, where the other contractors on site no longer exist, don’t have a financial ability to cover an asbestos claim or are otherwise less attractive to victims seeking compensation.
Therefore, it is necessary for asbestos contractors and demolishers to ensure they have a confident and well-qualified insurer who can provide maximum coverage and long-term peace of mind.
Given the range of insurance options, exclusions, and long and short terms risks you must consult with an insurance specialist capable of recommending the cover most relevant to protecting your business.