POWER BROKER: ENVIRONMENTAL
Senior Vice President
Marsh, New York
Dedicated to Creating Coverage
Clients applaud Cristin Bullen for improving their environmental
coverages and designing protection for singularly difficult risks.
“Cristin was an invaluable resource in underwriting a custom
and comprehensive PLL policy,” which covered a recent acquisition
that involved spinning off a contaminated site to a third party, one
The client needed an affordable pollution legal liability policy that would cover all site
risks. Bullen “made a market for our policy where there really wasn’t one,” the client said.
In its purchase of a large paper company, another client spun off the acquisition’s
paper mills to a third party that was not purchasing environmental impairment liability
coverage excess of a fund the original seller established. The third party also structured its
acquisition to limit its environmental exposure.
Therefore, Bullen’s client needed an excess EIL policy providing tens of millions of
dollars of coverage. Bullen developed an extensive underwriting submission delineating the
three parties’ assumed liabilities.
At sludge processor Synagro Technologies Inc., market conditions had long meant
inadequate coverage. But Bullen immediately improved the company’s contractor’s pollution
liability coverage for a lower premium. That helped bolster Synagro’s earnings before
interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, noted Michael J. Miltenberger, director of
compliance and risk management.
Senior Vice President
Marsh, Southfield, Mich.
A Man of Many Words
“Steve Manz has the very unique ability to speak two languages,” a
“One language enables Steve to talk in ‘geotechnical’ terms with
folks on our side and translate what he’s understood into ‘insurance
lingo’ so underwriters gain sufficient knowledge of the risk.”
That ability allowed the client to resurrect an acquisition deal
that had died because of site contamination. A consultant previously remediated a site
contaminant, but the treatment triggered an inactive chemical in the soil.
A city well located off the property complicated the issue; the site owner attempted but
failed to purchase environmental coverage, so the client pulled out of the deal.
In revisiting the deal, the client developed its own remediation plan and engaged Manz to
find coverage to hedge its exposure.
The client said: “[We] bought the business, implemented our remediation plan, saved
dozens of high-paying jobs in a rural community and protected residential water supplies in
the process … all because we were able to acquire insurance, thanks to Steve!”
Another large client faced an unfavorable renewal of its manuscripted pollution liability
coverage, despite a good loss history. The client tapped Manz to negotiate with the insurer.
Manz persuaded the carrier to accept 90 percent of the client’s requested terms and
conditions — with a 17 percent premium reduction.
Senior Vice President
Marsh, San Francisco
No Stone Unturned
Environmental insurance broker Ed Morales is a master at finding
solutions — including some that clients thought were not possible.
EVRAZ North America retained Morales to make sure it had
the most appropriate coverage by strong insurers at competitive
prices. Beforehand, EVRAZ, which has U.S. and Canadian facilities,
believed it could afford environmental coverage only for its U.S.
facilities, explained Edwin Koopmans, vice president and treasurer.
He found “the right insurers and made sure that they had a good understanding of our
risk profile,” Koopmans said. Morales educated him about the need for coverage in Canada.
“We now have coverage for all of our locations at a premium that is approximately 20
percent less than the prior cost.”
Another client, which represents real estate investors with widely varying environmental
risks, faced the loss of its blanket pollution legal liability insurer at renewal.
“With Ed’s hard work, I was able to pull the plug on the blanket a year in advance,
broaden coverage, clarify certain critically important language and pay lower rates,” the
For EnergySolutions, which decommissions nuclear power plants, Morales replaced
its PLL coverage in 2016 — with a 35 percent cost decrease — after the incumbent insurer
pulled out of the market, noted Scott D. Michelsen, director, credit, collections & insurance.
Morales also secured advantageous terms and pricing for the 2017 renewal.
Pete Pantalone, CPCU
Clients count on Pete Pantalone to resolve problems.
Delaware agency Diamond State Port Corp. needed to rapidly
expand the Port of Wilmington, a leader in banana imports. DSPC
officials found a suitable waterfront parcel, but there were many
other motivated bidders and inadequate time for environmental
reviews, noted Parul Shukla, director, finance & administration.
Officials decided to bid and purchase insurance to limit the DSPC’s financial exposure.
The agency retained Pantalone, who placed a $25 million, 10-year policy.
“With the quick placing of the coverage, DSPC was successful in acquiring the site for
development into a state-of-the-art container facility that will double the jobs and improve
economic impact for the Delaware citizens.”
For another client, the reputation of the risk management department has been
burnished because of Pantalone’s assistance in finding an insurance solution for a
corporate divestiture with an environmental obligation, the client noted.
“The benefit to the insurance risk management program has been that I am now getting
Tony Sandfrey, CRM
contacted to design an insurance solution for M&A deals, since this was a successful
placement at a relative small cost.”
Another client, whose three-year pollution liability program covering global risks was
expiring in a tough market, praised Pantalone for replacing the program with expanded
coverage at a 20 percent premium reduction.
Environmental Practice Leader
Taking Proactive Measures
Fixing problems before they turn disastrous is one value
proposition Tony Sandfrey offers clients.
Sandfrey unilaterally analyzed a client’s existing coverage. He
identified non-concurrent wording issues in the client’s tower, as
well as some “shaving-of-limits endorsements,” the client noted.
Without addressing those problems with the client’s insurers,
“there could be a case where an excess layer would not drop down after exhaustion
of lower limits,” jeopardizing coverage in higher layers, the client explained. Sandfrey
“worked long and hard to educate” the insurers on why the wording was problematic.
Sandfrey also recognized a potential coverage gap if the client ever divested any U.S.
operations where contamination was later discovered.
For Banner Health, which has inherited “many strange insurance policies” through
acquisitions, Sandfrey streamlined coverage, said Heather M. Wielenga, commercial
insurance risk finance director.
One example was an environmental policy for a medical center Banner acquired.
Policy terms precluded a premium reimbursement if Banner cancelled the coverage,
but Sandfrey negotiated a deal that allowed Banner to cancel the policy and receive a
$28,000 premium reimbursement in exchange for moving Banner’s entire environmental
portfolio to the insurer — for expanded coverage at a lower cost, Wielenga said.
“We did not believe our problem could be fixed.”
Senior Vice President
Seals the Deal
A client’s planned acquisition was complicated. The target’s
previous owner had indemnified only some of the target’s assets
for contamination, noted attorney John H. Johnson Jr., a partner at
Troutman Sanders, LLP, who also represented the client.
Johnson explained that broker Max West assembled an
insurance product that would fully cover the environmental
liabilities of the indemnified assets if the previous owner failed to honor its commitment.
The policy also covered the non-indemnified assets, with limited exclusions.
“Absent Mr. West’s involvement, the transaction likely would not have been completed,”
Another client company was looking for a buyer but encountered a major roadblock:
federal regulators said it was potentially responsible for a Superfund site.
The client’s own analysis, however, indicated it was not responsible for any pollution.
“We could convince ourselves of anything we wanted to, however the biggest issue
remained on dealing with the future unknown liability,” the client said. The client did not
believe insurance would be affordable, but West secured two viable options.
As a result, the client said, the company “was sold with all parties satisfied. The seller
does not have a long-term liability/escrow. The buyer has a 10-year policy to protect the
company against any future claims related to the site. The deal would not have been done
without this type of solution.”