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RRP Insurance

August 19, 2014

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.

Clear Choice Insurance, a sister company of American Contractors Organization, located in SW Portland, OR., has over fifteen years of environmental and contractor insurance experience. Also as a certified instructor for the RRP Certification we have focused for several years, on this new EPA RRP law and the liabilities it creates for contractors. 

Most contractors are not aware that their General Liability Policy excludes Pollution claims such as Lead. We understand that contractors are concerned because they have asked us the following questions: 

  • 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.

Two or three years ago, Lead wasn’t on the radar screen of either remodeling companies or those who insure them. Today, an increasing number of insurers offer pollution policies. That leaves residential contractors who wish to be covered obligated, like oil companies, to purchase Pollution insurance as a separate policy.

Pollution insurance covers damage done by mold, asbestos, and other toxic substances, including lead. But if you’re shopping for pollution insurance, be sure that the policy covers lead. “A lot of agents may think that the standard pollution insurance policy includes coverage for lead,” when in fact they may not. There have been contractors that have been unpleasantly surprised to find 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 doesn’t mean there is lead coverage.

Be sure you ask your agent to verify if Lead is covered in the pollution quote you are receiving. Costs for pollution insurance typically range between about $1,800 up to $5,000 in annual premium for damages of up to $1 million with a $5,000 deductible. As a contractor working on homes built prior to 1978 your business needs this protection.

Should you purchase it? Absolutely!


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