AIG examines latest environmental claims trends

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A rise in fire-related damage claims and losses from improper construction and demolition waste management practices are among the trends reflected in the latest environmental claims statistics from insurer AIG.

Now in its second year, AIG’s European Environmental Impairment Liability (EIL) claims intelligence report reflects some important environmental loss themes, with implications for companies of all sizes and from all industry sectors.

The top three industries for EIL events in 2017 were transport, communications, electric, gas and sanitary, followed by manufacturing and construction, AIG found.

There was a rise in environmental incidents stemming from wildfires and facility fires, with 15% of all loss incidents documented as fire emergency response in 2017.

More claims also arose as a result of substandard management practices in the handling of construction and demolition waste, according to AIG.

The trends reflected in EIL claims over the past 12 months demonstrate that insureds’ environmental exposures are far from static, AIG found. They are set against an evolving risk landscape in which climate change is influencing fire risk, there is growing public awareness of environmental issues and increasing regulatory pressure across Europe to carry out inspections and make the polluter pay.

Now, more than ever, companies need to reassess their approach  to environmental risk management and stress test their coverage to ensure it would respond as expected in the event of a loss. “Insureds think it will never happen to them, but quite clearly—as reflected by the claims statistics over the past 12 months—it can and does,” said Wilson Hull, environmental major loss adjuster at AIG. “No matter how good your risk management practices are, ultimately you may have an environmental incident that you need to deal with.”

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk