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Farming Insights: Environmental Impairment Liability

08 July 2019

Many businesses, whether they realise it or not, have a need for Environmental Impairment Liability Insurance (EIL), and farmers are no exemption.

The standard Public Liability cover on a Farmers’ Combined policy provides cover for injury or property damage to a third party. This will also often include an element of pollution cover. Yet, it is not usually recognised that this cover refers to pollution damage to a third party, generally after a sudden or unforeseen event. This doesn’t cover your own land or property, as any spillage from locations within the farm is likely to originate in the area of the farm buildings, there is likely to be contamination to your own ground before it reaches external properties.


Pollution Cover

EIL insurance provides protection for damage as a result of pollution in various forms. The most common example is the clean-up cost for your own soil, following an oil or kerosene spillage, or leakage from fertiliser mixing units. Likewise, the escape of pesticides and chemicals is also covered. Livestock farmers with slurry stores can take confidence that such spillages or leakages, along with escape of sewage or foul water, have EIL cover.

Contamination Cover

Another area where EIL insurance comes into its own is after a property fire. There is likely to be smoke nuisance and debris carried by the wind. Which at certain times of the year, could ruin the possibility of making animal feed from affected fields. Also, the damage to the ground by the excess of water used to extinguish the fire could be significant, along with the potential contaminants within that ground once the fire is out.

Protect Profitability

These are some examples of where EIL cover could be imperative to your profitability. It can also assist in relationships with regulatory bodies such as the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency. Most Farmers Combined policies restrict the standard cover, so our advice is to ensure you have an Environmental Impairment Liability extension for at least £1,000,0000.

We’re always happy to discuss your insurance needs or review your current cover. Discover more about the specialist services we offer.


 Jean Arnott-Glennie - Farms & Estates Account Executive at Bruce Stevenson Insurance BrokersJean Arnott-Glennie

Farms & Estates Account Executive

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