Most everyone (property owners, business owners, municipal government, financial institutions, etc.) cringe when they hear they have an environmental problem and they need to comply with…
At Restorical, we are commonly asked about the viability of old insurance carriers. For the most part, Comprehensive General Liability (CGL) policies from over 100 years ago are available to make environmental claims. The insurance industry has historically experienced tremendous consolidation, or a larger insurance carrier purchasing a smaller one, this preserves the continuity of coverage to present day. The purchasing carrier will retain the selling carrier’s historic liability regarding old insurance policies. The exception to this rule is in the case of an insurance carrier going out of business. While this is not common, it does happen and will continue to happen from time to time.
Whether you keep your old insurance policies tucked away in alphabetical order in a filing cabinet or have lost them all together, there is always a chance they hold some sort of value to you, your business, and your future. From life insurance policies to industrial property insurance policies, the plans of yesterday can impact your future. In some cases, it could mean the difference of having a project financed or not. In other cases, it could mean losing out on the money you thought you were owed. Insurance policies hold their value much longer than you may think. As insurance archeologists, it’s our job to dig those old policies up and examine them.
Insurance policies live much longer than you may think. In fact, many insurance policies retain their value long after the coverage date has ended, and, in some cases, that can lead to property redevelopment or clean up. While it may seem unlikely to you, the old insurance policies you have lost or tucked away in the back of a filing cabinet may just be the ticket you need to redevelop your property.
In the most general terms, insurance archaeology is the digging up of old insurance coverages for customers, primarily businesses, whose historical insurance records may have been lost or destroyed. By piecing together a business’s historical insurance portfolio, insurance archaeologists help their clients understand the full extent and limits of their liability coverage.