Environmental Issues Related to Dry Cleaning Insurance

Global concerns continue to grow over the dangers associated with industrial plants and other companies that create toxic and chemical waste that pollutes the air we breathe along with the water we drink. Those operating in the dry cleaning industry face a lot of scrutiny and many challenges as they strive to run a cleaner and more efficient business.

While contamination of the environment is sometimes associated with dry cleaners, a service used daily by hundreds of thousands, something has to be done to reduce toxins being released into the atmosphere. Unfortunately many of the cleaning solvents end up in our water systems and this results in contamination of our groundwater aquifers and this can cost millions of dollars to repair. Because the property owner is liable in most cases, they need Dry cleaning insurance to help them pay for the cleanup.

Retail property owners understand the risks involved

Because of the issues at hand, many retail property owners often refuse to lease to dry cleaners with on-site plants, fearing the potential environmental hazards these tenants present. The list of businesses also includes photo-processing shops and gasoline service stations. While many operators of these facilities handle and dispose of their chemicals in full compliance with state and federal laws and regulations, it only takes a few violators to do immeasurable damage.watch Logan 2017 film online now

Fortunately equipment technology and handling of hazardous waste have improved substantially in recent decades, so the damage has lessened to some degree and incidents are now considered slightly less common. However, a surprising number of chemical releases into the soil and groundwater have occurred unintentionally from the leaking sanitary sewer lines into which many operators have legally discharged their waste.

This type of liability leaves property owners, managers, and brokers desperate for new and perhaps better options. A number of solutions are underway, including state cleanup funds and guaranteed cleanups. One way that owners have begun to regulate their tenants is by requiring them to use the latest dry cleaning equipment technology and have regular inspections conducted by the property manager.

Insurance companies now often require more extensive soil and groundwater testing around potential contamination sources. Dry cleaning insurance coverage is essential after the fact, but prevention is also a major factor in reducing toxic conditions.

Potential Risks and Hazards & Dry Cleaning Insurance

Operating a quality dry cleaning franchise can generate significant revenue, but unfortunately, you also must constantly worry about having adequate dry cleaning insurance for a number of exposures, particularly those related to environmental hazards and concerns. The fact is, operators who follow proper protocol and run safe stores can greatly reduce their risks when it comes to fines, or lawsuits pertaining to lost or damaged items, and even injuries to customers.

Liability is a huge concern due to the amount of personal property you deal with on a daily basis. For example, if you ruin an expensive suit or dress due to improper application of chemicals, without coverage, the amount needed to replace that suit will come out of your company’s earnings. Basically, unless you have good liability protection, you’re going to have to pay for any losses or possible legal defense out of pocket. You’re going to need dry cleaning insurance to be able to operate a facility using typical industry chemicals and solvents.

Workers comp coverage is also required

If an employee gets sprayed with chemicals and needs time off from work, as well as medical care, this requires a workers comp policy, something that all employers with a certain number of full-time employees must have.

Or if a chemical that is being used on clothing causes a rash or allergic reaction to a customer then you’ll want to make sure that you have a policy that will be there to cover those costs as well, including any damages incurred.

Then there’s all of your expensive equipment. You have an array of complicated machines, computers, and your storage facilities, which can all be subjected to any number of perils, including weather damage, contamination and spoilage, fire, and even electrical short-circuiting.

Then there’s the matter of environmental insurance. For instance, if you’re ever charged with incorrectly disposing of dry cleaning chemicals, you could be sued by the government or by an affected property owner, and this could even occur years after the incident occurs.

Dry cleaning insurance doesn’t have to be expensive. Simply shop around for a carrier that can give you the necessary amounts of coverage, and any discounts for purchasing multiple policies. Make sure to get the protection that you need.

Dry Cleaning Insurance and Environmental Concerns

While environmental contamination is largely associated with industrial sites that deal in the disposal of a lot of toxins and chemical wastes, dry cleaners suffer from some similar issues due in part to the chemicals used in their industry. Annually the cost of cleaning up dry cleaning solvent that often ends up contaminating groundwater aquifers can be in the millions of dollars. This is a prime example of why operators of these establishments must purchase Dry cleaning insurance to deal with environmental issues.

Issues still spring from closed facilities

Approximately 35,000 retail dry cleaners operate in the United States, according to the Silver Spring, Maryland-based International Fabricare Institute (IFI) and reported on the CCIM Institute website. That figure doesn’t include a large number of former operations that often contributed to the problem. While comprehensive statistics aren’t available, an Arcadis Geraghty & Miller survey of insurers estimates that more than 70 percent of past and present dry cleaners accidentally or intentionally have released chemicals into the soil or groundwater, and the cleanup costs range from tens of thousands of dollars to several million dollars, averaging about $500,000 per cleanup.

As a result of these concerns, many retail property owners and managers are reluctant to lease to dry cleaners with on-site plants, avoiding other potentially environmentally hazardous tenants as well, including gas stations and photo-processing shops. Despite the bad news, many of these facilities handle and dispose of their chemicals in full compliance with state and federal laws and regulations, and improved waste handling methods in recent years has also helped tremendously.

Dry cleaners are often mistakenly blamed for releases

A surprising number of chemical releases into the soil and groundwater have occurred unintentionally due to leaking sanitary sewer lines (which flow to wastewater treatment plants). Many operators have legally discharged their waste but are sometimes deemed responsible for releases that occurred years or even decades ago when such disposal was standard practice and was done legally.

While municipalities should, in some cases, share some of the legal responsibility for cleanup of leakage from sewers that they own under city streets, the property owner often ends up liable, simply because many cleanups result from operations that no longer are in business or operations that have insufficient assets to cover the cleanup liability. Dry cleaning insurance helps pay the costs of the problem while the industry awaits further solutions, including state cleanup funds, guaranteed cleanups, and new technology that will hopefully emerge.