construction insurance New York

BGES Group: A Guide for New York Contractors on Choosing Between Pollution Liability and Professional E & O Insurance

Contractors in New York face numerous challenges while carrying out their projects, and some of these challenges involve potential liabilities and risks. Two crucial insurance coverages that can safeguard contractors are Pollution Liability Insurance and Professional Errors & Omissions (E & O) Insurance. The BGES Group, a leading insurance agency, can assist New York contractors in making informed decisions about which coverage best suits their specific needs. In this article, we will delve into the details of each coverage, their scope, and provide real-life examples of scenarios where contractors would benefit from such insurances.

1. Pollution Liability Insurance:

Pollution Liability Insurance, also known as Environmental Liability Insurance, is designed to protect contractors from damages resulting from pollution incidents. These incidents can involve the release of contaminants into the environment, causing harm to people, property, or the natural ecosystem. This coverage is especially relevant for contractors involved in projects that have a significant environmental impact, such as construction, demolition, waste management, or hazardous materials handling.

Coverage Scope:

– Clean-up costs: Covers expenses associated with the cleanup and removal of pollutants from the site.

– Third-party claims: Protects contractors from legal liabilities if third parties, such as nearby residents or businesses, file lawsuits due to pollution-related damages.

– Legal defense costs: Assists in covering legal expenses arising from pollution-related lawsuits.

Example Scenario:

Suppose a construction company working on a project in New York accidentally ruptures an underground oil tank, leading to a significant oil spill. The pollution contaminates a nearby river, causing damage to the ecosystem and impacting nearby properties. Pollution Liability Insurance would cover the costs of cleaning up the spill, potential third-party claims for damages, and legal defense fees during the ensuing lawsuits.

2. Professional Errors & Omissions (E & O) Insurance:

Professional E & O Insurance, also known as Professional Liability Insurance, protects contractors against claims of negligence, errors, or omissions in their professional services or advice. This coverage is crucial for contractors who provide specialized services and advice to clients, as even minor mistakes or misunderstandings can lead to costly lawsuits.

Coverage Scope:

– Professional negligence: Protects contractors against claims of failing to meet professional standards or breaching the duty of care.

– Legal defense costs: Covers expenses related to defending against claims, whether valid or frivolous.

– Financial damages: Provides coverage for financial losses incurred by clients due to the contractor’s errors or omissions.

Example Scenario:

A New York architectural firm is hired to design a commercial building, but they make a critical miscalculation in the structural design. As a result, the building’s foundation is unstable, leading to potential safety hazards and costly repairs. Professional E & O Insurance would cover the legal costs incurred while defending against the client’s claims and any financial damages awarded to the client.

Determining the Need for Each Coverage:

1. Pollution Liability Insurance:

– Projects involving hazardous materials handling or storage, such as asbestos removal or chemical storage, require this coverage to protect against potential environmental accidents.

– Contractors working near bodies of water, wetlands, or environmentally sensitive areas should consider this coverage due to the higher risk of pollution incidents.

2. Professional E & O Insurance:

– Contractors offering professional services, such as architects, engineers, or consultants, should obtain this coverage to safeguard against claims arising from errors or omissions in their work.

– Contractors who provide advice or recommendations to clients, such as project managers or consultants, should also consider this coverage to mitigate potential legal risks.


Choosing the right insurance coverage is essential for New York contractors to protect themselves against potential liabilities and risks. The BGES Group offers comprehensive guidance to contractors, helping them determine whether they need Pollution Liability Insurance or Professional E & O Insurance. By understanding the scope and examples of each coverage, contractors can make informed decisions that align with their specific project requirements and professional services. With the right insurance in place, contractors can focus on delivering successful projects while safeguarding their reputation and financial well-being.

If you would like to speak with us call Gary Wallach at 914-806-5853 or click here to email or click here to visit our website.

BGES Group, located in Larchmont, N.Y. are New York Construction Insurance Specialists that represent 50+ companies and all the BEST general & umbrella liability programs!  We offer every coverage you need including property, builders risk, inland marine, general liability, umbrella liability, auto, bid & performance bonds, workers’ compensation, N.Y.S. disability and group health.  We are extremely responsive, responsible, trustworthy, fast, minimize your insurance headaches, we don’t charge ridiculous policy or service fees and when you call, text or email, whatever time of day, even weekends, we are ARE THERE to help YOU! 

BGES Group are Workers’ Compensation Insurance Specialists for Tri-State Business Owners: Unhappy with your rates, company, being cancelled, losses causing difficulty getting coverage, in the middle of an audit dispute, payrolls misclassified, whatever your issue, we can help!  We have special programs for: Auto Service, Contractors (especially New York), Limousine Services, Logistic Companies, Manufacturers, Recyclers, Truckers, we can help ANY tri-state business owner.  We are considered “Preferred Agents” for this one program that if we can get you in, their pricing is excellent, offers long-term coverage stability and can cover multi-state operations. Program takes the hassle out of doing annual audits too.

If you would like to speak with us call Gary Wallach at 914-806-5853 or click here to email or click here to visit our website.

Company: BGES Group, 216A Larchmont Acres West, Larchmont, NY 10538



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