The Common Pollutant Family

5 Common Pollutants That Could Be Excluded On A Liability Policy

They can be odorless or stinky, Often invisible and spread swiftly, They’re altogether icky, The common pollutant family.

The perfect conditions are around ‘em, When people start to see ‘em, They don’t realize their GL insurance could exclude ‘em, The common pollutant family.

So learn more why they’re excluded on, What agents need to know on, We’re gonna play a call on, The common pollutant family.

#1: Mold

Mold tops as the number one source of claims on currently placed environmental site pollution policies for commercial properties. People are affected by mold exposure in different ways, from none at all to more severe reactions such as severe infections in their lungs and chronic asthma. Mold is naturally occurring in our environment because of its spores, but it needs a food source, water, and heat to colonize and grow.

Depending on the amount of organic matter found in the structure, mold can start colonizing within 72 hours and spread rapidly after water exposure. Drywall is an excellent food source for mold as it is easy for the spores to digest. With the right amount of food, water, and heat, a commercial property can become a petri dish very fast if relative humidity is not under 40%.

Many of today’s liability and property policies exclude coverage for fungi and mold or impose a significant sublimit for claims involving fungi or mold.  A common endorsement on Commercial General Liability policies is the Fungi or Bacteria exclusion, which precludes coverage bodily injury and property damage and even removes the carrier’s responsibility to provide defense.

To learn more about mold exposure, visit

#2 Bacteria
The recent outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in New York City in August 2015 is a good case in point on the wide-ranging effects of pollution exclusions. There are at least 12 fatalities associated with this outbreak. Legionaries’ disease is caused by bacteria usually found in warm water. When the water becomes aerosolized and is breathed in by humans, the bacteria create pneumonia-like symptoms that are sometimes fatal. Losses associated with bacteria are specifically excluded by the Fungi or Bacteria exclusion found in many general liability and property insurance policies today. The Fungi or Bacteria exclusion endorsement commonly found in general liability policies today even eliminates the insurance company’s obligation to defend the insured if a speck of any amount or type of bacteria is related to the loss
“in any sequence” in the loss event.
Find more info on the far-reaching effects of Fungi or Bacteria exclusions here:

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