The numbers are in and according to A.M. Best Co., 2012 was not a good year because of the rise of asbestos-related lung cancer lawsuits. In 2011, we saw a 31% decrease in claims and in 2012 there was a 12% rise in claims.

Best estimated that as of December 2012, the U.S. property/casualty industry paid out $85 billion in net ultimate asbestos losses. This is a dramatic increase from the agency’s 2011 estimate of $75 billion. Domestic insurers have been responsible for funding about 90% or $114 billion of the estimated liabilities through a combination of loss reserves and actual paid losses.

Getting coverage as lung cancer lawsuits related to asbestos continues to rise continues to be a challenge. Make it easier on yourself by calling us.

Contractor Pollution Liability

Are your contractor clients at risk? Environmental claims can happen to any contractor, any time, anywhere. As a rule, General Liability policies have total pollution exclusions which will leave your client bare in the event of an alleged environmental claim.

And if your client thinks it can’t happen to him…here are a few claim examples we pulled off the web.

A Concrete contractor laying a slab for a new runway for an international airport in the Midwest discovered the slab was contaminated and was leaching pollutants into one of the Great Lakes. It cost the contractor over $400,000.

While painting the interior of a nursing home, the contractor was sued by over a dozen residents alleging his inadequate venting created fumes that made them ill. This cost the contractor over $200,000.

A paving contractor applied the “tack” coat of Naphtha on a new road job. The job was stalled due to heavy rain that washed the toxic material into a drainage ditch and ultimately into a local stream. The clean up of this accident cost over $150,000.

Non-environmental contractors are just as “at risk” as anyone. Make sure your contractor clients understand what can and does happen. If anything else, they need the coverage for defense costs. Call us with questions.

Mold & Legionnaires Disease

This past year has seen a significant increase in claims involving mold and Legionnaires’ disease. It’s no surprise that older buildings are experiencing mold and moisture or bacteria problems. Some of the larger claims have been filed by schools, nursing homes and buildings that have been affected by severe weather.