Torus Tackles US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regulation
22nd September 2010
Torus, the global specialty insurer, has designed an insurance product specifically targeted to help companies affected by the new EPA Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule.
The rule, which aims to protect people from lead-based paint hazards, affects thousands of companies in the US. It requires contractors to be trained and certified in lead-safe work practices for renovations and repairs of pre-1978 housing.
Almost a million children already have elevated lead levels in their blood as a result of exposure to lead hazards, which can lead to lower intelligence, learning disabilities, and behavioural issues. Adults exposed to lead hazards can suffer from high blood pressure and headaches.
The rule came into effect on April 22 this year. It eliminates an „opt-out‟ provision which previously exempted firms from training and work practice requirements if no children under the age of six or a pregnant woman resided in the home, or if it was not a child-occupied facility.
Adrianne Vigueras, a Vice President of Torus‟ Environmental practice said, “EPA‟s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule is a proactive, preventative measure; the EPA has already certified 204 training providers who have trained an estimated 160,000 people in the construction and remodelling industries in lead-safe work practices. However, the rule does potentially increase contractors‟ liability exposure now that exemptions have been eliminated.
“EPA regulation highlights the importance for environmental insurance to be part of a company‟s general liability portfolio. This is a growing need and one which businesses are waking up to.”
The Torus Contractors Environmental Liability (CEL) Product has been designed to include lead paint removal as part of its pollution cover for remodelling contractors, which covers:
- Bodily injury to contractors‟ clients from operations, including work in buildings pre-1978
- Clean up of pollution released due to contractors‟ work
- Injury to property of others from pollutants released from contractors’ work
An additional five percent premium discount is offered to members of NARI (National Association of the Remodelling Industry).
Since the launch of Torus‟ Environmental practice in July 2010, numerous tailored environmental products have been developed for small and midsized businesses in America, including a Drycleaners-Laundry program. Torus is also developing non-environmental programs for contractors, manufacturers and premises exposures as well as enabling seamless coverage with Torus’ Renewable Energy and Healthcare teams by adding environmental components to their products.