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Beazley offers environmental policy for lenders

Chemical storage tanks

Specialty insurer Beazley PLC on Monday said it has launched a new environmental liability coverage to protect banks and other lenders from pollution risks that could reduce the value of property used as collateral for commercial loans.

Coverage is triggered when both a loan defaults and environmental contamination is discovered on a property, and pays the lower of either the estimated cleanup costs or the loan balance, London-based Beazley said in a statement.

Limits of up to $10 million are available, a spokeswoman confirmed via email.

The policy also pays cleanup costs for environmental contamination at properties owned by the lender as the result of a foreclosure, the company statement said.

Third-party claims against the lender for cleanup, bodily injury, property damage and defense costs related to the collateral property are covered at all stages of a commercial loan, even if the loan is in default, Beazley said.

“Contamination can be hard to detect and take years to emerge. Through this coverage, we aim to give lenders peace of mind over the long term, regardless of the status of their loan,” said Jayne Cunningham, Beazley’s environmental group focus leader in the statement.

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