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Insurance & Liabilities Associated With The EPA’s RRP Rule

October 28, 2015

Cecilia De La Rosa

Cecilia De La Rosa


Understanding the new EPA RRP exposures, liabilities and insurance coverage is important for contractors to protect their business from expensive litigation.

We understand that contractors are concerned because they have told us the following;

How can we be expected to be 100% compliant with lead safe work practices on 100% of the projects in pre 1978 homes so that we don’t end up in court? What if we are compliant with lead safe work practices and do everything according to the new law, and still end up in court. How do we protect ourselves from lawsuits on projects in pre 1978 homes where lead safe work practices are not required by law? What about litigation created by subcontractors as it relates to lead safe work practices? What about testing? These are just a few of the concerns contractors have shared with us, and we will address them all. The communication of all these answers will take a few newsletters to provide explanations and examples that will help contractors understand these issues thoroughly, only then can they properly protect their business.

Third Party Coverage

For example, a tenant, property owner, neighbor, or a person in the vicinity is exposed to lead paint dust (or other pollutants) and develops health issues. Whether or not “lead safe work practices” are followed, and if a third party becomes ill, the contractor will be liable. The EPA RRP law sets the standards high for lead safe work practices, and third parties will be informed and aware of what constitutes lead safe work practices as required by law. That leaves residential contractors who wish to be covered obligated, to purchase Pollution insurance as a separate policy. Pollution Insurance covers damage done by mold, asbestos, and other toxic substances, including lead. Four or five years ago, it wasn’t on the radar screen of either remodeling companies or those who insure them. Today an increasing number of insurers offer pollution policies. But if you’re shopping for pollution insurance, be sure that the policy covers lead. “A lot of insurance agents may think that the standard pollution insurance policy includes coverage for lead,” when in fact it may not. There have been contractors that have been unpleasantly surprised to find out that their Pollution policy did not cover lead. For the longest time mold has been the big thing, and the pollution policies have revolved around mold.” So just because it’s a pollution policy it doesn’t mean there is lead coverage. Costs for pollution insurance typically range between about $1,800 up to $5,000 in annual premium for damages of up to $1 million and a $5,000.00 deductible.

As a contractor working on homes built prior to 1978 your business needs this protection. Should you purchase it? Absolutely!

Forms Guide book

Clear Choice Insurance, is an OR & WA licensed insurance agency located in Portland Oregon with fifteen years of contractor insurance experience. The agency principal is a certified Safety Manager and instructor for the RRP Initial & Refresher certification class with a focus in Safety, Liability and for several years now on the EPA RRP law and the liabilities it creates for contractors.

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