By Katie Labonte, Associate Underwriter

Analytical laboratories are just one type of environmental consultants that we see, but they’re becoming increasingly prominent in today’s world. The services these laboratories provide can range from the analysis of soil and water to determine potential health risks to testing for the presence of asbestos, lead, radon, and other potential contaminants.

The pollution exposures for these companies exist in the handling, transportation, and disposal of the materials being tested and the chemicals used in the testing process. A contaminant could spill during transport to or from the insured’s laboratory location or a chemical reagent could leak while in storage at the laboratory. Likewise, if the correct disposal method is not used for a chemical or the material being tested, it could result in a pollution incident. And while there are numerous consequences that can stem from the improper use of laboratory equipment and chemicals, there are also unanticipated accidents than can take place even if all of the correct safety protocols are followed.

The Professional Liability exposures for these risks are also prominent. A pollutant could be misidentified or missed in a sample altogether, causing the insured to present incorrect information to their clients. If, for example, the presence of asbestos is missed during testing and the insured’s client later discovers asbestos on their premises, the cost of a claim stemming from bodily injury, property -damage, and/or business interruption could be devastating to the insured.

For analytical laboratories, we can offer General Liability with Contractors Pollution Liability and Professional Liability (the Professional being a consultant’s most significant exposure in many cases). Alternatively, a combined Contractors Pollution/Professional Liability policy can be provided if the GL is already placed elsewhere We can also provide a Site Specific Pollution Liability for facilities the consultant may own or lease, including GL.

  • Contractors Pollution Liability is intended to protect from third party claims for damages caused by pollution conditions arising from the insured’s covered ongoing and completed operations at a job location. While an analytical laboratory insured may not be doing work at many job sites, having Contractors Pollution Liability is often a contract requirement for companies the lab may be doing business with.
  • Transportation Pollution Liability is intended to protect from pollution conditions caused by “over the road” transportation. It can cover insureds and/or third-party carriers that transport products that could cause a pollution condition. This coverage can also include loading/unloading should the insured’s cargo create a pollution condition.
  • Premises Pollution (Site) Liability is intended to protect from claims arising from pollution releases at, on, or emanating from a specific scheduled location. This coverage could be very helpful for analytic laboratories, whose pollution conditions would be more likely to happen at their own facility rather than at a job site.

As analytical laboratory accounts continue to become more prevalent, agents should be sure they are aware of the associated risks and the coverages needed for this class of business. For more information regarding analytical laboratories, including claim scenarios and account submission information, contact us.