Our Environmental and Pollution Liability product has been named a finalist for Innovation of the Year at the 2016 New Zealand Insurance Industry Awards.
Our specialist environmental insurance offers an all-encompassing ‘environmental shield’ covering all pollution events that may affect a business, regardless of nature or type of pollution.
We developed this environmental liability cover knowing that there was no local environmental offering in the market and that environmental liability was only going to increase in significance within New Zealand.
Pollution risks are many and varied and many of these exposures are not covered under traditional forms of insurance. Businesses can incur substantial cost, both to the bottom line and to their reputation, in cleaning up a pollution incident.
There were several challenges to overcome when developing the product. We were first to launch a product of this nature in the local NZ market so we needed to assess the market viability and limited New Zealand data required independent research to understand the risk exposures. Broker and client knowledge of this kind of insurance was limited and the product needed to dove-tail in with traditional products. We were also operating in a changing legislative landscape with the RMA review and changes to Health and Safety regulations.
We developed the policy wording with our capacity partner Allied World and were able to leverage their overseas experience to develop a rating methodology.
Coverage flexibility was important so that clients received protection tailored to their needs, whether it be a fixed site or for a service contractor.
We recognise that insurance is part of a broader risk management programme and it is important for clients to understand what proactive steps they can take to mitigate pollution risk. That’s why we partnered with 4Sight Consulting, an award winning environmental consulting practice, and they assisted us with the policy development also provide pre-loss risk management advice, crisis support and clean-up services in the event of a pollution incident.
Broker and client response has been strong. We conducted training sessions on environment risks for the industry and for our clients and published a Risk Management White Paper entitled “Cleaning up our act”.
Media coverage so far has included TV One News, New Zealand Management magazine and Insurance Business Online.
The winner of the Innovation Award will be announced at an Awards Dinner on 10 November 2016 at SKYCITY Convention Centre.