The Limitations of Public Liability Insurance Policies

The limitations of standard public liability insurance policies became evident in the case of Bartoline Limited versus Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc and Heath Lambert Limited.

This landmark case highlights the constraints of pollution coverage provided by public liability insurance policies, and the implications it has on the businesses and properties that it fails to protect.

What Happened in the Bartoline Case?

A UK court judgement ruled that offsite clean-up costs sought by public enforcing bodies would not be covered by a claimant’s public liability insurance policy.

The case confirmed that despite the incident being sudden, a standard public liability insurance policy would not provide an indemnity in respect of a statutory liability to a regulator.

Therefore, policies will not cover the costs of remediation to controlled water demanded by the Environment Agency.

How did the Bartoline Case Impact Future Public Liability Insurance Claims?

A British boarding school had an oil leak due to a corroded underground oil pipe, which caused a severe risk of contamination to the local controlled water supply.

The Environmental Agency demanded an extensive investigation to establish the extent of contamination, and to identify the measures required to remediate the damage.

With the only costs incurred being in connection to the remediation of controlled water, the pollution exclusion from the Bartoline Case applied. The school received no indemnity under their standard public liability policy and had to cover the costs of damages themselves.

Discover the full breakdown of costs incurred.

Environmental Impairment Liability Insurance

At Land Based Underwriters, we recognise that there is a gap in insurance cover left by standard public liability policies, which is why we work with a major global insurer to supply innovative Environmental Impairment Liability Insurance.

This policy has been designed to protected businesses against new legislation and is available for farmers and growers, and small to medium enterprises.

Discover what our EIL insurance cover includes and obtain an instant online quote today.

Get in Touch

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