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GDV unveils environmental insurance model


BERLIN, Germany— Germany's insurance association has formally unveiled a nonbinding insurance model to help insurers create products to cover new exposures under the European Union's Environmental Liability Directive.

The Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft e.V. in Berlin presented its model wording to member companies at an internal meeting last week.

"The reaction was, I think, totally positive," said Nils Hellberg, head of the GDV's liability and credit insurance department.

Mr. Hellberg said he was scheduled to present the model to the Deutscher Versicherungs-Schutzverband e.V. — the German commercial insurance buyers association — on Wednesday.

The GDV model proposes a specialty stand-alone product that covers first party environmental damage, although it is limited to sudden and accidental pollution. It also covers pollution stemming from company products and services.

Through the model, Mr. Hellberg believes the first environmental liability products for the new directive could be on the German market by the end of the year.

The Environmental Liability Directive, which E.U. member states were supposed to transpose into national law by April 30, provides a common framework for the prevention and remediation of environmental damage to natural resources and habitats.