Accidents in the chemical industry lead to unique insurance challenges. Frequently, it isn’t clear how policies interact to cover the various issues – injuries and otherwise – that arise from a given claim.
These conflicts are inherent to the chemicals industry due to the nature of a chemical exposure. Even small issues can lead to widespread effects; chemical leaks can remain undetected for many years, leading to the accumulation of a pollutant that is only detected when health problems in the surrounding community start to arise. Meanwhile, in larger events, it might not even be clear who is liable – after an earthquake or a flood, many different chemical manufacturers could suffer containment losses simultaneously, resulting in even greater confusion.
Regardless of the nature of a given claim, we work with our clients to coordinate their coverage before the accident happens so that the claim is covered properly without becoming confused between insurance carriers.
High impact areas we review:
- Coordination of internal insurance program coverages
- Adequacy and breadth of pollution liability and clean-up coverage
- Trucking and transportation exposures
- Fire and property insurance
- Employee safety
- Disaster Recovery and Emergency planning
Industry Insights with Mitch
We’ve seen just about everything you can imagine, and then more. Here are a few examples of what we’ve accomplished for our clients.
Case Study – Long Island Chemical Company
A family-owned chemical manufacturer was plagued by multiple claims from one of their signature products. After the company completed an extensive redesign of packaging and product warnings, our team helped them consolidate their insurance coverage and transition from a claims-made to an occurrence-based liability program. Over the next several years, we also helped the company reduce their liability premium by over 70 percent.
Case Study – Environmental Contractor
In 2005, we were engaged to manage the insurance program for a $100 million environmental contractor. After our initial audit and review, we concluded that the company’s casualty and pollution programs did not adequately reflect the company’s operations. MB Davis redesigned the program and expanded the coverage, even including coverage for potential claims from previously uninsured, historic operations. We also saved the company about $600,000 per year on their insurance premium.
Case Study – International Chemical Manufacturer
Our client, an international chemical and plastics manufacturer, was purchasing a large plant in Canada for over $100 million. The seller was a Fortune 500 company with an internal risk-management and self-insurance program, and as negotiations continued, it became evident that there was a problem with plant water supply and fire protection. Potential insurers were reluctant to provide coverage, and the necessary improvements would cost millions of dollars. We eased the insurance companies’ concerns by helping our client develop a program to improve plant protection, and we safeguarded our client by supporting their negotiations with the seller about who would pay for the work. At the end of the process, the seller paid much of the cost of the upgrades, the insurance carriers were satisfied with the way our client was going to address the problem, and the purchase was successfully closed.
Every industry and every company is unique, with vastly different risks to manage. We've become experts in many fields and have saved a lot of time and money for our clients.
”Mitch has managed to balance all of these issues for us, keep our premiums under control, and provide valuable counsel on claims and other immediate issues.
“Independent Chemical Corp is a third-generation distributor of chemicals for the food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries, as well as a distributor of chemicals for general industrial applications.
Mitch has been working with us since 1998. Our business has many complex insurance issues, such as our truck fleet, our potential pollution hazards, and our contracts. Mitch has managed to balance all of these issues for us, keep our premiums under control, and provide valuable counsel on claims and other immediate issues. We’ve been working with him for a long time, and rely on his advice very frequently.”Jonathan SpielmanIndependent Chemical Corp., Glendale, NY
”He was instrumental in having our premiums reduced by nearly 70 percent!
“Our company, ComStar International, is a manufacturer and marketer of environmentally safe, industrial-strength chemical products used by service professionals worldwide in air conditioning, refrigeration, heating, plumbing, and Indoor Air Quality industries. Mitch has been our insurance advisor since 2003.
When he came to us, we had some serious problems with our General Liability insurance. Over time, Mitch has patiently crafted a strategy that has resulted in improved overall coverage; we now have higher limits, lower deductibles, and a broader scope of coverage. At the same time, he was instrumental in having our premiums reduced by nearly 70 percent! Mitch has also helped us negotiate the insurance sections of a number of supply and distribution contracts. Overall, he has become a valuable resource that we turn to for guidance on any and all insurance related issues.”Steve MellaComStar International - College Point, NY