What is pollution coverage? Why do you need it? And how do you get it?

Pollution coverage provides funds to deal with bodily injury or property damage resulting from the discharge or release of pollutants. In the standard auto coverage forms Pollution is a specific exclusion (Exclusion 11), so this coverage is not generally included in policies issued to moving & storage companies. However, the clean up costs of fuels or liquids spilled in an accident is covered.

So, if fuel spills are covered, why do you need pollution coverage? Well the standard coverage only applies to things that leak from the vehicle – not from the cargo. Used household goods generally do not pose an environmental risk if spilled out of the truck. Other types of cargo, however, might damage the environment.

If a moving company has interstate hauling authority, the MCS-90 endorsement form must be attached to the mover’s auto liability policy. This endorsement mandates coverage for Environmental Restoration for any pollution resulting from property transported by a motor carrier. Make sure that this endorsement is attached to your policy – DOT auditors often ask to see this form when inspecting your premises.

If a moving company does not have interstate authority or wants the broadest pollution coverage available, ask your insurance representative to attach the CA 99 48 Pollution Liability-Broadened Coverage for Covered Autos to your policy. There is no standard charge for this endorsement and not all insurance companies will agree to put this on your policy. If you are concerned about your pollution exposure, ask your insurance representative before renewal if the coverage is available.

Pollution coverage for any event occurring on your property will generally require a separate pollution policy