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Environmental protection and company liability

Today's environmental product liability coverages aligned to the Association of German Insurers (GDV) sample terms and conditions are not easy to understand, particularly for international companies. A working group headed by Werner Matschke, Underwriting Liability Germany, has looked into the issue and developed an alternative concept. The background is explained in an article that was published in "Versicherungswirtschaft" magazine.

In summary, the situation in Germany as regards environmental product cover is rather complex, with cover being spread over various policies and concepts: general liability and product liability insurance, environmental impairment liability insurance, environmental damage insurance. Splitting the product liability risk into unqualified and qualified environmental product liability risks is not only confusing, but also does not correspond to international standards.

Putting a stop to such proliferation and making environmental insurance more transparent was the clear objective of the working group. How did they proceed?

"The product risk will no longer be split, instead all risks relating to facilities and premises  will be bundled in our new Global Nature environmental policy. Product liability, by contrast, will continue to remain part of general liability and product liability insurance, no matter whether it relates to the environment or not. Foreign risks are  also insured in line with this structure," write Werner Matschke and Saskia Janoske, AGCS Liability.

The result of this "reform" is as follows: the overall scope of cover can be grasped much more easily, the new policy comprises several modules and can thus be clearly understood. All foreign risks and exclusions are summarized in dedicated contract sections. Moreover, definitions of specialist terms have been incorporated. And last, but not least, the new model corresponds to international standards.


With "Global Nature", AGCS Liablity has succeeded in creating a new, clear coverage for environmental issues


Please click here for the full version of this article, written by Werner Matschke and Saskia Janoske (AGCS Liability) and published in the German magazine "Versicherungswirtschaft" on September 1, 2011. (GERMAN ONLY)