Environmental risks expose developers to liability that is difficult to quantify. Since 1 April, local authorities have had to produce a strategy for regular inspection of contamination. The new regime also makes owners and occupiers of contaminated land potentially liable for historic pollution.
Certa aims to provide cover for all these risks. Since its launch in 1997, it has closed 150 insurance deals, 70% of them with private developers. It has designed policies for the redevelopment of closed landfill sites; for major utilities portfolios, national housebuilders, local authorities and registered social landlords; for private finance initiative projects; and for the remediation and development of former power stations, gasworks and Ministry of Defence sites. Current projects include work on the Greenwich Peninsula and a former steelworks in Scotland.
Certa gives cover before and during remediation and for remediation schedule overruns. It also provides long-term cover (up to 25 years) for on-site and off-site risks; legal and regulatory cover; cover for migration of contaminants, and lending institutions’ risks.