What coverage do businesses need for asbestos liability?

| Aug 3, 2020 | Insurance Coverage

Obtaining the proper insurance coverage is necessary in the business world. One of a business owner’s primary goals is to reduce the risks posed to their business. And insurance policies protect them against both unforeseen and foreseen risks.

However, new and experienced business owners alike might wonder what types of insurance policies are essential, and which are not. After all, business owners also strive to conserve finances.

For example, many business owners wonder: do they need insurance coverage for asbestos?

Asbestos still poses a large risk to businesses in all industries

As many business owners know, asbestos is a dangerous substance. Exposure to it could lead workers, customers and even business owners themselves to face health issues such as mesothelioma.

The risk asbestos poses to one’s health is undeniable. However, it is also a threat to businesses overall.

The Insurance Information Institute (III) reported that insurers paid out more than $24 billion between the years of 1991 and 2004 in response to asbestos claims. And the impact on businesses was significant. During this period:

  • 730,000 people filed asbestos claims;
  • 8,400 businesses were defendants in these cases; and
  • 73 firms filed bankruptcy to pay out these claims.

The risk remains high, and there is no sign of claims decreasing.

Asbestos claims are not an issue of the past. They are still a significant concern for all businesses and industries, especially since health issues from asbestos exposure do not often manifest until years later. That is why businesses must have proper insurance coverage.

What kind of coverage is available?

If businesses have the proper insurance coverage, they can mitigate the risks they face when it comes to asbestos claims. The exact coverage Illinois businesses can obtain depends on the insurance company as well as the specific policy, but basic policies generally include coverage for:

  • Paying for asbestos removal, which requires professional services;
  • Defending against a claim or lawsuit, as well as other legal expenses; and
  • Paying for a plaintiff’s medical care, which is often included in the jury awards or settlements.

Of course, business owners should be proactive. They must inspect their properties carefully for any sign of asbestos and eliminate the risks. However, asbestos-related claims are often complex and volatile issues, and business owners must ensure they have the proper coverage to protect their future.