Spill Center™ has added new insurance companies as clients in recent months, enabling them to offer Spill Center resources to their clients who are involved in pollution events and spills of hazmat, diesel fuel and other regulated substances. Insurance clients view the partnership with Spill Center as value added, which promotes loyalty to insurers. Spill Center is the North American leader in spill support and environmental claims management.
In the program for insurance companies, Spill Center provides 24/7 support after environmental spills requiring cleanup and reporting as follows:
- Assess the spill and determine appropriate response
- Provide assistance finding cleanup contractors
- Coordinate with contractors and authorities at scene
- Complete all required spill reports by phone and written
- Manage legal disposal of contaminated materials
Insurers offer Spill Center enrollment to their clients at no cost, enabling them to quickly get help with emergency response and completion of required local, state, provincial and federal incident reports. All activities completed on behalf of clients are documented and can be used to defend against third-party liability claims.
Tom Moses, president and founder of Spill Center, relates: “We deal with environmental releases and other pollution events every day on behalf of clients, who invariably file claims with their insurers to recover spill-related costs. So we decided to approach insurance companies with a plan to enroll their insureds in our program to contain costs and limit potential third-party liability claims after spills requiring cleanup and reporting,” he says.
Tailored to Needs of Insurers
The program is tailored to the insurers’ preferences. Systems have been developed by Spill Center for spill response, documentation and reporting. Databases contain North America-wide cleanup contractor listings and disposal resources, plus contact and reporting information in nearly 30,000 jurisdictions. Spill Center compliance associates are on the job 24/7 every day of the year to provide immediate assistance to clients, he notes.
“Insurance companies have partnered with Spill Center to offer their insureds spill response and reporting services to avoid any delays in getting assistance after accidental releases,” observes Tom, who is a former U.S. EPA toxicologist and has a law degree and a certificate in Hazardous Materials Control and Emergency Response. Before launching Spill Center in 1990, he worked in the insurance industry, providing environmental claims and spill management expertise. Also, as a legal specialist for Standard Oil, he interpreted safety and environmental regulations,
“Reporting is an important aspect of Spill Center’s services because, depending on the jurisdiction and type of spill, up to a dozen different reports might be required after an environmental release. Failure to comply with reporting regulations can result in significant fines and penalties,” observes Tom.
Insurance adjusters who manage large claims are benefitting by using Spill Center’s spill reporting mobile app because the app lets them get involved within minutes of an incident and become proactive in helping the claimant mitigate the situation quickly, control spill-related costs and limit any potential liability, he adds.
Positive Response from Insurers
Since Spill Center started offering its program of environmental spill support and claims management to the insurance industry, the response has been very positive. One insurance company that recently partnered with Spill Center reports that the savings started mounting up as soon as users began submitting spills through the program.
“An agent told me that by addressing these emergencies in a timely manner through Spill Center, the insurer has seen 20% to 25% in cost savings,” Tom recounts. “Insureds enrolled in the program are better prepared to handle environmental spills and pollution events, which can result in lower spill-related costs, directly benefitting the insurance company.”
He relates that companies enrolled in the program rely on Spill Center to provide expertise in spill management and regulatory matters to avoid fines and penalties for non-compliance with local, state/provincial and federal reporting rules.
“Because Spill Center constantly reviews and updates environmental regulatory requirements, our clients can rest assured that their spill reports will go to the right authorities within the time specified, avoiding fines and penalties for non-compliance,” he says.
“Spill Center is leading the way in technology-driven applications that speed up the spill support and reporting aspects of environmental releases and other pollution events. We founded Spill Center in 1990 on the belief that no company will ever have enough spills to justify creating and maintaining all the spill resources needed for adequate protection from environmental exposure,” notes Tom.
Moving Beyond North America
Spill Center is developing global standards to offer the spill support program in foreign countries, enabling clients to contact Spill Center in their own language by phone, using a mobile app or via the Spill Center website. “They will be able to complete spill reporting forms at the website in their own language, and we will provide the support they need through a global network,” explains Tom. To date, testing has been conducted in 19 different countries. Tom expects eventually to expand the Spill Center program first to Europe, then to other regions of the world.