Understanding the Environmental Risks in Agriculture

At Land Based Underwriters we pride ourselves on our history of supplying policies that correctly cover a multitude of environmental incidents, through our environmental liability insurance. But what are the real-life environmental impairment risks? 

Red Diesel Spillage Case Study

Red diesel can float on water and flow rapidly, spreading in areas such as drains and ditches, and it can also infiltrate groundwater resources used for abstraction or irrigation. Farm machinery, in this instance, had knocked a diesel tank releasing 1,300 litres of red diesel, which spread fast and contaminated soils and surface water.

If caught quickly and contained, the substance can be skimmed off the water surface, however, it is still highly toxic to soils, crops, and vegetation. If not caught and handled quickly, the damage can result in costly enforcement notices and fines from the Environment Agency. Insuring against environmental pollution of this nature is imperative. 

Escape of Fertiliser Case Study

Ammonium-based fertiliser can be toxic to crops and vegetation when released in high concentrations and can be highly toxic to aquatic life. In this instance, 12,500 litres of ammonium-based fertiliser escaped following a tractor overturning at a farm entrance. The fertiliser consequently poured over nearby gardens and ran into a fast-flowing watercourse.

Polluting materials are highly soluble, making them difficult to contain and remediate. Rapid artificial oxygenation can make the pollutant easier to handle, but this is expensive and enforcement actions by the Environment Agency may be expected.

Escape of Milk from Tanker Case Study

A tanker filled with 5,000 litres of milk overturned and the milk subsequently escaped. Milk is highly soluble and will rapidly deoxygenate water. This increase in adverse bacterial growth within aquatic environments will likely cause fish to be killed. Potential claims by water abstractors as well as fines by The Environment Agency are to be expected. Product recovery may be possible through dilution or artificial oxygenation of the watercourse, but it is only a temporary fix that relies on mitigation measures.

Why Choose Land Based Underwriters?

Environmental liability insurance is becoming increasingly important and can compliment environmental risk management practices to help safeguard against liabilities that you cannot foresee.

General liability policies often have substantial gaps in coverage in terms of environmental impairment liability, which is what makes having a separate environmental liability insurance policy so vital.

Get in Touch 

For more information and specialist advice on the right policy for your clients, contact Land Based Underwriters today.