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Auto Repair Shop Insurance: Pollution Liability

9/4/2012 7:12:43 AM

It is no secret that auto repair shops have significant pollution liability exposures. With all the different operations and techniques used, this type of business is naturally a generator of hazardous waste. Of course, garage owners will abide by EPA regulations when it comes to handling, transporting and disposing of these wastes and pollutants, but that does not mean the risk of an accident is eliminated entirely.

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Let’s take a quick look at a possible scenario:

Your full service garage routinely fills and stores on-site barrels of waste. These wastes may include solvents, paints, petroleum products, etc. Every few months, a forklift loads these barrels onto trucks in order to be taken to an EPA approved facility. This sounds like the right thing to do, correct? Of course it is! Until the one time a barrel slips from the forklift and saturates the ground with solvents, oils and toxic waste. Of course, this garage is located directly next to a neighborhood. The EPA goes over the case and determines the harmful effects that this accident has on the groundwater and soil. Besides being charged for the “clean-up” costs, 50 or so residents in the area decide to sue the auto body shop for property damage, bodily injury, etc. The total cost of this accident ends up being about 1 million dollars. Does your garage have this kind of money?

The bottom line: there will always be risks. Whether you accidentally flush pollutants down a drain or cause pollution damage to another party, your business will face consequences, and expensive consequences at that. Is your garage insurance policy tailored to protect your business from pollution liability? If you are not sure, do not hesitate to ask our agents at Wolpert Insurance for some input and help. We would be more than willing to look over the exposures in your shop and provide you with a free quote. Protection for your shop is the number one priority!

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