Environmental insurance activity is on the rise

Just in the last six weeks, David Dybdahl has been called to testify as an expert witness six times for environmental claims. His agency, American Risk Management Resources Network, LLC (ARMR), where he serves as president, is one in a small group of insurance agencies that can be called on for the duty of testifying as an expert in their respective field. Previously, Dybdahl would only receive about one request every two years. This sudden uptick in expert witness requests is unlike anything he has experienced before in his over 35-year career in the environmental insurance industry.
According to the 2015 Insurance Market Outlook by Wells Fargo, environmental insurance has experienced a dynamic growth of 30%+ year-over-year, and the industry is expected to be fueled by emerging risks and increase in niche specialty programs in the coming years. The increase in environmental claims and the increase in expert witness requests coming through ARMR are just a few examples of how the current need for environmental insurance is increasing. Due to environmental laws being enforced in sectors that never dealt with environmental risks before, the environmental market landscape is gradually expanding. “Expansion of where laws are being applied has created a new prospect base that needs environmental insurance,” said Dybdahl. Those who never considered environmental insurance are now searching for environmental policies. Since the effective elimination of pollution risk coverage from general liability policies over a decade ago, many policies today have several exclusions and gaps. Environmental specialist are needed to advise correctly on how to fill those gaps in the environmental product line, as well as their knowledge of how pollution operates. Yet, even in the growing market, environmental insurance still only penetrates one percent of the entire insurance marketplace. For Dybdahl, the activity in the industry is clear, and with 99 percent of the marketplace wide open, career opportunities in environmental insurance are for the taking to those willing to take the time to learn its complexities.

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