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2012 Innovation Awards: Environmental Insurance Programme

2012 Innovation Awards: Environmental Insurance Programme

Chartis Europe Ltd.

Environmental Insurance Programme

An accredited environmental insurance training program developed by Chartis Europe Ltd. is helping risk managers navigate the United Kingdom's complex environmental liability laws and insurance market.

Launched July 7, 2011, the five-module Web-based Environmental Insurance Programme, which is being recognized with one of Business Insurance's 2012 Innovation Awards, is free to all market participants through Chartis' website. The course is accredited by the London-based Chartered Insurance Institute, and completion of units is rewarded with continuing professional development credits.

The five modules cover environmental legislation, enforcement, risk management, insurance basics, and insurance issues.

The program was developed to raise awareness of environmental liability and insurance among U.K. risk managers, brokers and insurers, said Anna Nilsson, U.K. manager for environmental impairment liability at Chartis Europe in London.

Environmental legislation and enforcement activity in the United Kingdom has grown, in particular with the implementation of European directives such as Environmental Liability Directive 2004, which introduced a strict liability rule for pollution damage in the European Union.

“We saw the need to explain how environmental legislation has evolved, how it is enforced, and the gaps that can occur in insurance like general liability coverage,” said Ms. Nilsson.

“The program is about making risk managers aware of what insurance can do and giving them the tools to make the right decisions,” said Ms. Nilsson.

Since the training program's launch, some 1,800 people have taken at least one unit, while some 300 of these have completed the entire program. In feedback surveys, 97% of participants graded the program as excellent, while 94% said it had helped them discuss environmental liability with insurers.

One of the first to complete the program was a risk manager with a major U.K.-based multinational firm that was in the process of purchasing a global environmental insurance program. However, brokers also are an important target audience, said Ms. Nilsson.

Most risk managers place their insurance though a broker, but there is a general lack of knowledge of environmental liability and insurance among brokers in the market, said Ms. Nilsson. “Only the big four brokers have specialist environmental liability teams. But there is room for more specialists, and this program should help other brokers develop that expertise,” she said.

The program will be continually reviewed and updated, said Ms. Nilsson. “Environmental legislation is evolving at such a pace that we may have to review the training or add modules to keep it relevant,” she said.

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