New Pathways: How technology is transforming environmental insurance at digital speed.
SPECIALTY LINES INSURANCE
How technology is
insurance at digital speed.
The Liberty One TAP
Response App helps make
the best out of hazardous
spills by keeping companies
and key people informed
while facilitating the
best response in the
quickest amount of time.
The Good News
On the other hand, digital technologies are evolving and being
leveraged in positive ways like never before to help companies
reduce exposure and mitigate loss.
“When people think of environmental insurance and tech-
nology, they usually think of policy issuance and the advent
of e-signatures. But digital technologies like smart phones
coupled with geotracking – the ability to pinpoint where
someone is located – are revolutionizing spill emergency com-
munications, response times and effectiveness making a huge
difference for insureds,” Bell said.
With mobile technology such as the Liberty One TAP Re-
sponse App on their smartphones, companies can benefit from
Timely Accident Preparedness. With the tap of the app, they
can quickly report, get a response, and remediate. This allows
the clean up to start quickly and through the assistance of Spill
Center, a 24/7 emergency resource, and the environmental
engineering consultants at Vertex, they can safely and legally
dispose of spilled materials.
Spill Center acts as not only an internal information clearing-
house but also provides resources on regulatory reporting and
access to 3,500 cleanup contractors on standby in the U.S.
and hundreds more around the globe – essentially providing
what a company handling hazardous materials or involved in a
hazardous materials incident would need to quickly attend to a
The Bad News
Pókemon aside, from an exposure standpoint digital technology
today poses a threat that’s never been known before. While
cyber risk such as the theft of personally identifiable data has
been highly publicized, physical risk such as pollution sparked
by cyber breach is just as real and already occurring.
Consider that many factories and manufacturing plants are now
automated. Water treatment facilities, power stations, refineries
and pipelines use digital technology to control the flow of large
quantities of fuel, sewage and other hazardous materials. Risks
become even greater with the advent of plants operated almost
entirely by robots that create a so-called “dark factory.” Today,
even the signals and sensors on railroads with railcars carrying
dangerous chemicals are computer controlled.
Whether a teenager looking for fun, a dissatisfied employee,
a tech-savvy criminal or a terrorist, hackers have the poten-
tial to infiltrate operational systems from anywhere and cause
catastrophic property damage, bodily injury and environmental
claims in the millions of dollars.
But you don’t need a hacker to wreak havoc. With electricity
powering IT and other operational infrastructures, the conse-
quences of a power outage lasting just hours could shut down
a company’s HVAC system or pollution control equipment
causing a release of toxic emissions or untreated waste that
puts employees and the surrounding community and environ-
ment at risk.
A truck hauling hazardous waste loses control on a curve when something darts across
its path. The rig jackknifes as the driver hits the brakes, then overturns spilling its load
on the roadway and down a ravine into a public water supply. Now there’s not only a
major accident to deal with and a spill to contain and clean up, but also a myriad of
federal, state and local laws to follow along with documents to file in the aftermath.
And worse yet, that thing in the road wasn’t a deer but a Pókemon-chasing teenager.
Destructive hacking attemps
targeting critical infrastructure
a control system.
to shut down
Source: Organization of American States, 2015 Poll