Route 88 Crash Causes Pollution – Insurance in the News

Do you know why pollution insurance is important? Many power washers might not think of the costs associated with clean up of the chemicals they carry. That is, until it happens to them. Distracted driving is at an all time high, making driving more and more dangerous every day. What would happen if an accident caused chemicals to escape from your rig? Who would be responsible for the pollution clean up? Would your insurance help cover the costs of any resulting damages?

This week, a similar accident happened not far from the Joseph D. Walters agency, after a train crashed into a tanker truck hauling hydrochloric acid on route 88 in Washington County.

The crash happened around 11 a.m. Tuesday near Fredericktown. Officials say the CSX train was traveling southbound when it collided with the tanker truck, which was carrying more than 4,000 gallons of hydrochloric acid.

Acid started spilling onto the tracks due to the crash, which caused several problems.

Aside from sending 8 people to local hospitals due to exposure, it took cleanup crews 2 days to remove the pollution from the nearby soil and train tracks. Route 88 was shut down while cleanup was underway.

What if pollution damages happened to you?

Contractors often have a tank mounted on their vehicles or trailer rigs to contain their cleaning solutions and various chemicals. Should an incident like this occur to one of your trucks, a pollution claim would likely be filed by the municipality. This claim would state that your company is responsible for cleaning up the pollution. Your first thought is to immediately call your insurance agent to report the claim and seek coverage under your auto policy. The agent informs you the auto policy did not offer such coverage, so you turn to your General Liability policy only to learn the same news.

Just about anything can be considered a “pollutant”. This spill could just as easily occur near a creek or on a street with drains into the sewer system. Most power washers carry some sort of chemical or cleaning solutions.

Where would this coverage come from to protect your business?

A Commercial Pollution Liability policy would cover this type of loss. This type of coverage starts approximately at $1,500, but could save you big in the result of a spill. If you are interested in a quote, please give us a call at 1-800-878-3808 today.  We have worked exclusively with mobile cleaning contractors for 40 years and know what coverages you need to keep your business safe.

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