Sudden & Accidental coverage is tied to a discovery and reporting period, and generally covers bodily injury and property damage caused by a pollution loss. If a claim comes in and is a gradual loss or is not discovered and reported in the time allowed under the policy form, there is no coverage in place.
Through the years, the term “Sudden & Accidental” pollution has been litigated vigorously and there has been much debate about the meaning of Sudden and Accidental versus a Non-Sudden and Gradual (gradual) pollution event. A classic example of the complexity of this issue involves the circumstance where an area of a site has staining, and the cause of the staining has been determined to be a leak from a pipe. A question is posed as to whether the staining was caused by a sudden and accidental event or a gradual event. If one believes that it is a result of a sudden and accidental event – is it because the event was the first drop (and everything subsequent to that was the same occurrence)?
Conversely, was the staining the result of a non-sudden & gradual, consistent stream of drops over time? Even if it was determined that the stain was a result of a gradual release, shouldn’t the first drop be considered an sudden and accidental event and therefore, some amount of the staining would fall into the sudden and accidental category? There are many opinions that one might have with regard to this simple example and this is only a glimpse of how complicated this debate became.
What is the difference between Sudden & Accidental Coverage vs. Non-Sudden and Gradual Coverage?
The word “sudden” had been litigated extensively in many courts, and was initially interpreted to mean “unexpected”, rather than “quick”. The word “accidental” was often interpreted as “unintended”. This broad interpretation of sudden and accidental, i.e., “unexpected and unintended”, rather than “quick”, resulted in many court decisions that were advantageous to the insured because of the fact that the unclear interpretation of the words resulted in ambiguities.
Over time, this broad, ambiguous interpretation of sudden and accidental became narrower. In recent years, sudden and accidental has been interpreted to mean that it takes place in its entirety at a specific time and place. Insureds may have difficulty demonstrating that a pollution condition or release of pollutants was sudden and took place at a specific time.
Many, but not all, environmental insurance policies provide coverage for both sudden and accidental and gradual pollution releases. There is no distinction between one or the other in most environmental insurance forms. With gradual coverage in place, the insured does not have to be concerned about meeting the reporting requirements outlined in the time element trigger, or the potential ambiguity of older sudden and accidental forms.
Non-sudden and gradual coverage in premises specific forms is not without its issues as well. It is important for insureds to understand the difference between “unknown” pre-existing conditions and “new” conditions. Sudden & Accidental is typically a coverage enhancement on a Contractors Pollution Liability, Site specific Pollution Liability or a combined/Package Pollution Liability policy for a client that demonstrates the need for the covers due to the nature of their business which could create an Environmental risk due to their business activities.
The Ombudsman for Short-term Insurance has released it’s 2019 Financial Report. We at Blue Anchor have read this report and feel it’s importance to the market, here is a snap shot of what they reported.
OSTI recovered R94.9 million for consumers in 2019. This was more then both 2017 and 2018 (each amounting to around R87m) but less then both 2015 and 2016 (around 100m each). OSTI received 10367 complaints in this period of which 9167 were closed.
Almost half the complaints closed to the Ombud during this period were Motor Vehicle related – of which 19 percent were resolved in favour of the policy holder. The second highest category was Homeowner’s (building) insurance closing 21 percent of complaints – of which 15 percent favoured the policy holder. House contents insurance complaints were relatively low at only around 6 percent.
OSTI is expecting a surge in complaints post COVID-19 pandemic, largely in relation to business disruption and travel.
Read more here.
South African Legislation
The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations as set out in the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996 are intended to promote the safe transportation of hazardous material through the effective management of systems and processes.
With tons of dangerous goods being transported throughout South Africa and across the African continent every year, it is important to ensure the safety of this travel. Dangerous Goods can include everything from explosives, flammables, and corrosive or toxic chemicals to spent reactor fuel, low-level radioactive wastes, and disease-causing biological agents. If not controlled properly, these hazardous substances could present a potential hazard to human health and safety as well as that of the surrounding environment.
The National Road Traffic Act was implemented in August 2000. This legislation included provisions for the road transport of Dangerous Goods as listed in SANS10228 and the relevant regulations were enforced from 3 August 2001. Since then, the legislation has been updated to reflect new changes in regulations.
Read more at the source: https://dgrcompliance.co.za/national-road-traffic-act-93-of-1996/
South Africa is well known for a rich history in mining and the export of mineral resources.
With the 10th largest road network in the world and a heavy reliance on road freight transport, it is to be expected that motorists often share the roads with the transporters of dangerous goods.
Are we aware of the risks presented by the transport of dangerous goods and what can we expect from the operators in this industry?
Do we know how to share the roads with dangerous goods vehicles and how to react when arriving at the scene of a road crash of a dangerous goods vehicle?
To answer these questions and to gain further insights into the transport of dangerous goods we approached some of the experts in the industry.
Read more at the source: https://www.arrivealive.mobi/safe-transport-of-dangerous-goods/
This information sheet provides basic information on conducting a workplace transport risk assessment. The information is aimed at employers, people in control of places of work, self-employed people and safety representatives. The information may also be of interest to employees.
What is a Workplace Transport Risk Assessment? A workplace transport risk assessment is the process of evaluating the risks to a person’s safety and health from any vehicle or piece of mobile equipment that is used by an employer, employee, self-employed person or a visitor, in the workplace. It is the systematic examination of all aspects of work that may be affected by workplace transport and looks at the specific hazards associated with the use of vehicles and mobile equipment in the workplace. The principle purpose of carrying out a workplace transport risk assessment is to reduce risk. The process forms part of the overall legal duties for employers and persons in control of places of work to conduct a risk assessment on all activities that introduce risk
Read more at the Source: www.hsa.ie