Homecheck Professional, an online risk assessment service, has launched a policy to protect homeowners against becoming liable for costs associated with contamination on their land.

Under recent legislation, many homeowners could be now at risk from potentially crippling “clean up” costs resulting from contaminated land.

The legislation (part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1995), which came into force last year, states that local authorities are now required to identify contaminated sites and develop a strategy to clean them up.

Homecheck Professional will provide up to £1m cover for up to 25 years for a one-off premium. Homeowners and homebuyers will be able to buy the policy directly from the consumer site homecheck.co.uk by the end of the month.

The policy will also form part of a new enhanced Homecheck service, which will combine the benefits of an environmental search with insurance underwritten by the National Insurance and Guarantee Corporation (NIG), part of the Credit Suisse Group.

The policy will cover the homeowner for any legal representation in defending, negotiating with or appealing against any local authorities decision, the costs of pursuing the polluter and, most importantly, the cost of the actual clean up.