The Terraffirm policy provides a cost-effective environmental insurance solution to cover liabilities resulting from historical land contamination for existing retail and light and non-industrial commercial properties.
Whether it is a hotel, nursing home or a parade of shops, purchasers of commercial property cannot afford to be left with premises situated on contaminated land. A blighted property can attract huge clean-up costs, significant legal expenses and, in extreme cases, prevent the business from trading. As more and more local authorities inspect their localities for land which is contaminated, growing numbers of businesses are electing to ensure they are covered now, for whatever may be uncovered in the future. In addition, lenders are seeking protection for their security.
Arranging the most appropriate contaminated land insurance for existing commercial properties can be challenging. Many policies on the market are typically suited to large and often genuinely high-risk sites, with a premium to match. While this approach may be appropriate for such sites, not all commercial properties are exposed to the same contamination threat, and purchasers of lower risk sites simply want peace of mind from an affordable policy that relates to historical contamination.
Terraffirm is a new commercial contaminated land insurance policy designed specifically for existing commercial properties and provides a truly cost-effective alternative to existing products. It covers environmental clean-up costs should the owner or occupier of the property be required to comply with a remediation notice from the local authority, costs of damage to buildings on the property and loss in value the property may suffer when sold in the future. In addition, cover can be extended to include liability to third parties, including bodily injury.
Stephen Tromans, (a barrister described in Chambers & Partners 2007 as "the outstanding environmental lawyer" with an "encyclopaedic knowledge of the subject") has advised on the Terraffirm policy. Stephen has commented: ‘The Terraffirm policy in my view is commercially a very apt and attractive instrument, in terms of its coverage, extent, period of cover and generally its clear straight forward wording’. Stephen Tromans comments on the Terraffirm policy (in PDF Format)
- Facilitates property deals
- Terraffirm is ideally suited to accept the environmental liabilities so often the sticking point in negotiations for the sale and purchase of commercial properties. The policy can cover all parties involved in the transaction, including vendor, purchaser, funders and any successor in title. In addition, the risk screening report provided by Argyll Environmental is compliant with the Law Society’s Contaminated Land warning card.
- Flexible options of cover available
- Terraffirm offers the most cost-effective and longest period of cover available in the insurance market (fifteen years). The Terraffirm policy excess starts at only £5,000 per claim, with premium discounts for higher excess levels.
- Competitive premiums
- Our pricing is geared to the level of risk presented by the vast majority of commercial properties in the UK. A detailed risk assessment is undertaken by Argyll Environmental to assess historical contamination issues presented by the property.
- Clear and concise policy wordings
- Our Terraffirm policy wordings are clear and concise, and set out exactly what is covered, with minimal policy exclusions.
- With the Terraffirm policy providing up to 15 years of cover, it is important to be confident that any future claims will be met. The Terraffirm policy is insured by Underwriters at Lloyds, giving the policyholder the security of an insurance market which has paid valid claims for over 300 years.
Terraffirm policy wording (in PDF Format)