Companies must cover themselves against environmental risks, Aon says

A toxic sludge pollution spill in Hungary should serve as a warning to companies to insure against the Environmental Liability Directive (ELD), Aon Risk Solutions has warned.

Aon Risk Solutions’ environmental director for the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Simon Johnson, said it was vital that companies became aware of the risks their operations posed, as well as the exposure they faced should something go wrong.

Under the ELD, introduced into the UK by the EU in March last year, all companies are liable to pay for the costs of any clean-up and remediation needed to make up for environmental damage.

Environmental liability underwriters are watching developments in Hungary closely.

A leak from the reservoir on 4 October has devastated surrounding villages and towns with toxic sludge.

Bowring Marsh chief executive Nick Bacon said: “It will be interesting to see how this very specific and visible disaster is going to be represented by the Environmental Liability Directive.”