Unique Exposures of Septic Tank Installation

Designing, installing and performing maintenance on a septic system – and surrounding sewer systems -involve numerous insurable hazards. WaterColor Management underwrites, on behalf of multiple AM Best “A+ rated or higher-rated carriers, highly specific insurance programs for these activities.

We believe in a proactive approach to risk management, and we cover the unique exposures you and your customers, contractors, principals and third parties face in septic and sewer operations. In doing so, we ensure your insurance policies cover your planning, installation and maintenance activities.

Planning & Testing Sites: Pollution and Professional Risks

Your projects begin with site surveys and testing to determine the type and size of the drain fields. Percolation tests are normally performed by your own staff, subcontracted engineers or sometimes local officials. If the drain fields fail to function properly and the septic tank can’t discharge properly, there’s a problem. If the percolation tests are wrong and discharged effluent seeps to the surface and ponds in a client’s lawn or garden or trickles into a nearby stream or lake, there’s also a problem. While such exposures are “completed operations”, they include both professional errors and omissions and pollution liability risk.

Cave-Ins, Cable, Pipeline, Equipment Dangers

Septic tank installation requires loss control skills in deep excavation, “call before you dig management,” and heavy equipment operation. Preparation for installation involves identifying any possible cable, pipeline or underground structure before excavation begins. Since installation involves both deep and shallow excavation on various types of soil, collapses should be guarded against not only for the safety of the personnel working in the excavated space, but also to protect against equipment falling into the excavated site. The protection of workers, customers’ property and family members and the public should also be considered in establishing safe operational areas for excavation equipment, cranes, and heavy delivery vehicles. Explosion, collapse and underground coverages are essential for the septic tank business.

Mold, Bacteria, Infections and Contamination

Septic systems are based on using bacterial action to first liquify waste. This is followed by the distribution of the effluent into drain field areas where the soils act as natural filter. Eventually, treated effluent is returned as clean water into the ground water table. A poorly functioning septic system can result in a backup into the home or business it supports. Flooding in the home or business can lead to E-coli and bacterial exposure, while wooden surfaces can absorb the contaminated effluent and generate other mold and fungus growth. Further, in maintenance and pumping operations, accidents can happen on the maintenance site, in transit or at the discharge site. Having specific coverage against against these risks is very important.

It’s a very good idea to have Mold, Bacteria and Gradual and Sudden and Accidental Pollution Liability coverage to meet these challenges. WaterColor Management makes such coverage available, including HAZMAT with limits up to $25 million for on-site operations, during transportation and on discharge sites. We fill the coverage gaps left by standard insurance policies.

Faulty septic systems can lead to diseases and infections that can be transferred to animals, workers and client personnel near the site resulting in hepatitis, dysentery, typhoid fever and even acute gastrointestinal illnesses.

Children and Small Animals

Over the past seven years more than 20 children have lost their lives because of drowning in improperly-protected septic tanks. While insurance could pay for the loss of life and legal defense of a septic tank installation and maintenance company, it is vital to protect against such tragedies by making sure that all septic accesses are secured with locks or, when larger, with child protection devices. If the property owners don’t want to undertake appropriate prevention actions, the septic tank installer or maintenance company should insist on contractual releases from all liability.

At WaterColor Management, we’re committed to every client’s strong protection and safety. Contact us today and examine our tailored septic and sewer design, installation and maintenance policy coverages. Maintaining a high degree of defense cost coverage, expert in-field claims knowledge and custom-tailored plans, WaterColor Management is a primary provider of safe, strong and reliable septic and sewage coverage options.

Sources: Inspectapedia, Winstar, Mass.gov

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