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Businesses Lose in Cleanups : Lawyer Advises Companies on Environmental Suits : Questions & Answers

December 17, 1990|Gregory Crouch | Times staff writer

A. Insurance is something the small-business person should keep in mind. Many businesses carry what we call comprehensive general liability policies. If you have a cleanup you're paying for or a problem with underground storage tanks, you should always contact your broker and file a claim under your insurance policy. If you ask your broker or the insurance company, a lot of times they'll say there's no coverage. But if the dollars are big enough, it may be worth talking to a lawyer who has expertise in filing environmental claims on general liability insurance policies.

Q. Besides insurance, are there any additional places a company can seek funds for a cleanup?

A. The state of California is setting up a fund for the cleanup of leaks from underground storage tanks. Unfortunately, I don't think there's any money in the fund yet, and I know there are no regulations about how you get the money. The majority of states have this fund and you simply have to fill out the applications and be able to verify your expenses. You can get all your cleanup costs repaid.

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