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Insurance Policies May Not Cover Pollution Incidents

Red tanker truck overturned on a highway with emergency vehicles

When you own a farm, situations will most likely arise that could put you at risk for some sort of accident involving an environmental pollutant. But, many farmers may not be aware that not all pollution incidents are covered under their vehicle and farm insurance policies. This could put farmers at risk for having to pay for damages out-of-pocket, whether you own a dairy, grain, or vegetable farm.

Examples of pollution incidents include:

Red tanker truck

Truck Accidents Resulting in a Spill

Farm auto insurance policies cover pollution cleanup costs resulting from an accident, but only if there is property damage or an injury occurs to a third-party. This means that if your truck overturns a load of manure, milk, or harmful chemicals into a someone's property or into a stream, cleanup costs cleanup costs may not be covered in full. This means you may have to pay out of pocket.

Accidents from 3rd Party Haulers

If you hire a third party to haul your manure, milk or other pollutants – and they get in an accident and spill the pollutant – you can be liable for the cleanup. Your farm owner policy does not cover this cleanup, because farm insurance policies do not extend liability to a third-party hauler. However, a pollution policy will pay for the cleanup and judgement against you.

firefighters putting out a barn fire

Chemical Barn Fires

If a fire breaks out in your chemical storage barn, the DEC or other agency will most likely be notified to monitor the cleanup, which can be quite a costly project. The problem is, farm insurance companies have a ‘sublimit’ for cleanup costs and it’s very possible that it won’t be enough to cover expensive testing and remediation. You might have to pay for the difference out of pocket.

How can you protect yourself?

These are only a few of the situations where you might find yourself paying out of pocket for cleanup and damages caused by pollution-related accidents. The good news is that an Environmental Insurance Policy, offered by Farm & Country Insurance will cover:

  • Cleanup costs caused by a truck/vehicle that you own when pollutants have spilled into a stream, field, or another person's property

  • Liability in the event of a claim made against you, during an accident from a third-party hauler

  • Supplemental cleanup costs caused by a chemical barn fire that is not covered by your insurance policy

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An Environmental Insurance Policy can close these and other gaps in your coverage. Give us a call to find out how we can help you sleep better at night knowing you're covered for these types of incidents. Call (585) 624-2474.


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