Association in tie-up with Gallagher London in response to new DEFRA regulations

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association has launched the Biba Environmental Liability scheme in conjunction with Gallagher London.

Biba said the scheme responds to the new regulations from DEFRA which reinforce “the polluter pays” principle.

The scheme, underwritten by ACE European Group, provides biba members with a customised online quoting system offering preferential premiums for broad environmental cover, including first party clean-up costs and gradual pollution liability for their customers.

Biba Environmental Liability is designed to respond to pollution claims arising under the EU Environmental Liability Directive (ELD), enacted on 30th April 2007 which came into force in England on 1st March 2009 as The Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations 2009. It includes cover for biodiversity and Complementary/Compensatory Remediation costs as required by the Directive.

Steve Foulsham, Biba Technical Services Manager, said: “This scheme removes much of the uncertainty surrounding gaps in Environmental coverage and will provide protection to businesses already struggling in the current tough economic climate. These are the companies who will be less able to survive the impact of a large pollution clean-up claim.”

Jo Newson, a director of Gallagher London, said: “There is a misconception that only large heavy manufacturing companies are impacted by these legislative changes, but risk exposures to SME businesses will also increase. For example any company with storage tanks on site or with a permit to discharge waste water could get caught up under the penalties within the new legislation. Brokers need to point out to corporate insurance buyers or risk management clients that their insurance program is deficient if they do not purchase this insurance protection."

Wayne Harrington, environmental risk manager for UK & Ireland at ACE European Group, said: "We have created a product here which is simple, accessible, affordable and effective, so the usual reasons for dismissing environmental insurance are no longer justified. There are very few types of business in the UK with no environmental risk, so BIBA members should ensure they obtain terms to discuss with clients – it only takes a few minutes to get an online quotation."