Do you buy Envirosearch or Homecheck Professional environmental searches?

CLS has created a unique alliance with Landmark Information Group, the leading environmental data provider, to deliver cost effective and innovative contaminated land insurance solutions. These policies enable early completion, are designed to give peace of mind from contaminated land liabilities and provide cost effective solutions for the UK conveyancing market.

CLS offers the following purchasing options:

Residential Contaminated Land Insurance

This insurance can be bought in conjunction with an environmental search, before an environmental search is carried out, or if an environmental search has produced a clear result, providing cover from £50. Click here to find out more.

Residential Contaminated Land ‘Top Up’ Insurance for Envirosearch purchasers

Envirosearch provides £60,000 remediation cover as standard, CLS has now created a policy that works in excess of this limit to provide a full £1,000,000 worth of cover with premiums from £35. Click here to find our more.

Residential Contaminated Land ‘Further Action Report’ Insurance

Now there is no need to contact the local authority where an environmental search has failed or requires further action, which could lead to a remediation notice being served. You can protect your clients against this risk through our further action report insurance, for only £315. To find out more click here.

If you would like any further information on these policies, please contact our underwriting team on 01732 897 530 or email underwriters@clsl.co.uk.

CLS Expands Contaminated Land Insurance Suite

28th January 2011

Following the success of the recent collaboration of CLS and Landmark Information Group (LIG) to bring you market leading environmental insurance with Homecheck Professional, CLS are pleased to announce that we are now expanding our suite of contaminated land products to offer further cover options for both residential and commercial properties.

Residential Contaminated Land Insurance

Environmental reports – Potential risk

Regardless of the type of environmental search report that you buy, CLS now provides a policy that gives cover where a report identifies a potential risk which can be insured BEFORE an actual risk is confirmed. Now there is no need to contact the Local Authority, simply put this cover in place and the risk is dealt with.

EnviroSearch – increased cover

CLS are pleased to announce the launch of an “EnviroSearch Top Up Policy” which works in excess of the £60,000 warranty covered by the search provider (LIG). This new policy increases the cover to the full £1m currently offered under the standard CLS policy.

Commercial Contaminated Land Insurance

CLS are also proud to announce the launch of an online commercial contaminated land insurance scheme – a market first. CLS have worked in conjunction with Landmark Information Group to create an ‘off the shelf’ policy for commercial properties which covers the following all under a standard scheme policy, negating the need for a long winded bespoke referral process:

  • Remediation costs
  • Diminution in value
  • Third party property damage and bodily injury

This policy (and all other CLS Contaminated Land Insurance policies) is available to order online through our website (www.clsl.co.uk) with bespoke policies available from our legally qualified team of expert underwriters where specific requirements are found.

If you would like to find out more about these, or any of our suite of defective title and legal indemnity policies, please visit www.clsl.co.uk or contact our underwriters on 01732 897_530.

Commercial Contaminated Land

The Solicitors Journal, January 2011

Commercial Contaminated Land

The Olympic Stadium is now taking shape and looks set to be a spectacular centre-point for the 2012 Olympics in Great Britain. However, the development of the site has not been quite as straight forward as it could have been when compared with the impressive progress that the Olympic Village is making. At the opening stages of the development, construction could have been halted before it even began, and the reason for this? Contamination issues associated with the land on which the site was to be built.

Since the introduction of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (now embodied in the Environment Act 1995) Local Authorities have been given responsibility for identifying and forcing the clean-up of land that has been deemed to be ‘contaminated’. Local Authorities have been actively seeking sites to be ‘cleaned-up’, serving remediation notices where necessary and ensuring that any contamination within the land does not impose any health and safety risks.

The responsibility for the clean-up rests with the owner of the land and as a result the Law Society issued a warning card relating to Environmental issues and how they should be considered in a conveyancing transaction.

Desktop Environmental searches have long been included as a standard ‘usual and necessary’ search conducted by the conveyancing profession when acting on the purchase of a property. These searches are accepted as industry standard and the nature of risk highlighted can range from minor (but potentially costly to remedy) to something that could affect the quiet enjoyment of the property or land. Where a search indentifies a potential contamination issue the purchaser has 3 options:

  • To withdraw from the purchase of the property on the basis that potential remediation costs of the land will outweigh the value of the property
  • Purchase the property making an allowance for any estimated clean up costs further down the line
  • Purchase the property with the benefit of a commercial contaminated land insurance policy

The first option of withdrawing from the purchase when option 3 is available clearly seems quite dramatic and doesn’t allow client satisfaction unless it’s as a result of a major issue identified with the land that would create very high remediation costs or delay in completing building or development works.

The second option likely to be less desirable to the prospective owner as it takes a risk that remediation will be required or enforced which has to be costed into the purchase.

The advantages of proceeding with option 3, an insured solution, are two-fold. The purchaser is able to proceed with the transaction but also does not need to make allowances for any financial restraints posed by the threat of enforcement action (other than those incurred in complying with any planning conditions set). A contaminated land insurance policy has, historically, provided cover for both remediation costs incurred in complying with an enforcement notice served by the Local Authority together with any diminution in value of the site as a result of such an enforcement notice being served. New policies on the market now also provide cover for third party property damage and/or third party bodily injury as a result of the identified contamination, where required.

Previously, purchasing contaminated land insurance was both a time consuming and expensive option with cover only being offered on a bespoke basis for commercial properties. However, a new breed of commercial contaminated land insurance has recently been brought to the market which is now available on a scheme basis with cover available online for lower value commercial risks up to £1m. In making commercial contaminated land policies as accessible as those already used for residential transactions, commercial property transactions can now benefit from increased cover and reduced premiums as another area of the conveyancing market takes advantage of the electronic superhighway to provide workable market solutions.

As is often the case with conveyancing transactions, be they residential or commercial, there remains a place for bespoke policies for transactions that don’t fit “standard criteria”, and there are always underwriters available to discuss whether the individual cases fall within the scheme or not, but now the market has a choice to opt for a cost efficient time efficient solution to this sometimes difficult issue.

Commercial Contaminated Land insurance is now available through Conveyancing Liability Solutions as part of the Commercial ConveySure® suite of defective title and legal indemnity products. CLS is the Landmark Information Group approved insurance provider. To find out more please contact our legally qualified underwriters: underwriters@clsl.co.uk or 01732 897_530 or go online at www.clsl.co.uk

Clair Rickaby
Underwriter and Product Development Manager
CLS Ltd
clair.rickaby@clsl.co.uk