Why Covering Your Liability for Bacteria is Essential

Many if not most standard liability insurance policies which are used to insure businesses, that treat or handle water fail to provide anything close to adequate protection for you for many of the operations you perform. A common exclusion found in many policies removes coverage for your liability arising out of or resulting from your efforts to prevent and mitigate bacterial infection.

A policy that does not cover a water treatment company for bacteria, including of course Legionella, is like buying an auto insurance policy that excludes coverage for injury to others. The premium may be attractive, but most needed coverages are simply absent, leaving you exposed. If your treatment fails to identify or prevent an outbreak that causes sickness or harm to another you may be held legally liable for their loss, and not having coverage against bacterial infections means that your insurance policy will offer you limited protection or no protection at all.

Jurisdictions and industry assocations are beginning to adopt ordinances requiring building owners to have ongoing treatment of water systems or face fines and monetary penalties. If these protocols fail to successfully treat and prevent bacterial and viral outbreaks, it creates additional liability that flows to the servicing company in two ways:

  1. Direct, from the government or their regulatory agency.
  2. Indirect, from the building owner to recoup their loss and expense they incur. These are in addition to the claims you receive from parties injured by the outbreak.

At Watercolor Management, our insurance policy responds to these bacteria claims or suits and defends and pays monetary damages on your behalf when a claim is submitted or a suit received up to the policy limits you purchase. Most other policies you may have selected will not. In addition, we have no exclusion or limitation for liability loss from bacteria, including Legionella, the bacterium which causes Legionnaires’ Disease.

When these losses occur, the resulting litigation and payment may quickly become unaffordable and catastrophic to you and your operation. Under our policy, you have coverage up to the policy limits for both testing and treating. Traditional liability policies generally afford no protection for your liability in these circumstances.

Legionella outbreaks have received widespread media attention in recent years, and this tends to encourage litigation and increase government intervention post-loss. In many cases, politicians will seize the opportunity to use the misfortune for their personal aggrandizement, and the result could easily be increased scrutiny and liability for you and your company.

Protect yourself with an insurance policy that will respond quickly to the event and seek to make proper payments in a reasonable and prudent manner. It is not the time to get into a coverage dispute or discover that you have neither defense nor indemnity protection under your low-premium insurance policy.

About Watercolor Management

WaterColor Management has insured the water industry for over 30 years.  Our policies include unlimited defense cost coverage in the event of a lawsuit against you. Call us at (256) 260-0412 or email info@watercolormanagement.com for a quick quote for your Water Business Professional, Products/Completed operations, Pollution and General Liability Insurance.