Dry cleaning is a common business located in strip malls and retail centers throughout the San Diego and Los Angeles areas. What you may not know is that when you get your suit pressed, it is possible that cleaning solvents from the dry cleaners are contaminating groundwater aquifers. If the dry cleaning business fails to carry appropriate insurance to cover the costs of cleanup of this environmental damage the property owner may be on the hook for these costs. For this reason, dry cleaning tenants and property owners can obtain insurance to protect against the costs associated with dry cleaning pollution.
Insurance for dry cleaning tenants
Property owners can request that new dry cleaning tenants carry insurance that would insure the owner against cleanup costs should they arise. These policies may also cover past contamination that has not been discovered yet. Property owners can also include provisions in leases stating that dry cleaning tenants use the most up-to-date equipment as required by California law and undergo periodic inspections.
Insurance for property owners
Property owners can also obtain insurance that covers the cost of existing but undiscovered dry cleaning contamination. This may involve two extensive investigations of the soil and groundwater. Such assessments may be required before coverage will be provided. However, some insurers will cover property owners against such contamination even if a second investigation has not been performed, although this could lead to an increase in the deductible and cost of premiums.
Property owners can also obtain insurance that covers the cost of known contamination. With these types of policies, an environmental consultant will assess the situation and develop a plan for fixing it, along with how much this will cost. This type of insurance often contains a contingency should cleanup cost more than what the insurer pays for cost overruns.
Insurance can be a great answer to problems that may eventually arise in the future. It is good to be concerned about environmental risks posed by your tenants’ businesses, especially dry cleaning. With some preventative measures, you can protect your business from the actions of your tenants. And help is available if insurance coverage issues arise.