Asbestos is a fibrous silicate mineral that was once a popular building material for domestic and industrial products. Its strength and fireproof qualities made it an attractive choice for ceiling insulations and tiles, roofing shingles, patching compounds and in appliances like irons.
The use of asbestos was banned after the material was found to cause serious illnesses, including the cancers mesothelioma and asbestosis. Asbestos disintegrates with age, polluting the air and water with fine particles. The inhalation of these particles has been linked to various ailments such as asbestos warts, pleural plaques, pneumothorax and increased pleural thickening. Asbestos becomes a health risk if materials containing asbestos are disturbed and the particles become airborne. This presents a particular risk to construction workers and house cleaners who may unknowingly disturb the toxic material.
Do I need cover for Asbestos Liability?
If your business is involved with the removal or demolition of asbestos, you need to ensure you have adequate cover in place. As most standard liability policies exclude asbestos, a specialist asbestos liability policy is required.
A typical asbestos liability policy will cover:
Testing and/or sampling including its transport and disposal
Working with asbestos and/or making asbestos safe
Property owners and/or tenants
How much and what type of cover do I require?
Asbestos related illnesses, and the resulting claims, can take anywhere from 10 to 30 years to manifest. As a result, you need to ensure you are covered for the highest possible limits.
A ‘claims made’ policy compared to a ‘loss occurring’ policy provides you with greater protection. This is because the policy current at the time a claim is made against you is the one that will be triggered. Generally, this will have a higher limit compared to the policy which applied at the time the incident occurred. It is important to ensure the retroactive date is no later than when you first commenced this type of work.
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