Expert: "Black swans" pose challenges for construction insurance | N.J. facility releases billions of gallons of wastewater | Expert: Phase 1 assessments can detect unnoticed contamination
November 21, 2012
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Risk Management, Insurance and Claims
Expert: "Black swans" pose challenges for construction insurance
Greater use of building information modeling is among the factors that "should show a positive claim trend" for contractors professional liability insurance, says Martin Andrejko of Zurich North America. The sector, however, faces the threat of unexpected problems, such as those with Chinese drywall, he said. For example, it may be discovered that a green product "breaks down much too quickly, or causes environmental issues," Andrejko said. "There's always those black swans that are out there, and we address them when they come and try to go on from there," he said. Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (11/13)
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N.J. facility releases billions of gallons of wastewater
Damage caused by superstorm Sandy resulted in the daily release of hundreds of millions of gallons of raw or partially treated sewage from a New Jersey wastewater treatment plant. The facility, which serves about 1.4 million people, has released more than 3 billion gallons of wastewater into nearby waterways. Officials have been working to return the plant to its normal level of operation. The Republic (Columbus, Ind.)/The Associated Press (11/15)
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Expert: Phase 1 assessments can detect unnoticed contamination
A Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment is necessary even for a property deemed low-risk, Jenny Redlin writes, because a long-time residential site may have once been home to a gas station, for example. Neighboring properties also could pose contamination threats, possibly via vapor intrusion, and thereby hurt property values, Redlin writes. "If you are a buyer and want to obtain protection from CERCLA liability, then yes you need a Phase 1, as this is the only way to obtain CERCLA liability protection and maintain your innocent landowner defense," she writes. Science of Real Estate blog (11/18)
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Editor's Note
25 groups seek updates on Pa. well tests for oil, gas contamination
Pennsylvania should revamp how it reports testing results for well-water contamination tied to Marcellus Shale's oil and gas operations, 25 environmental groups wrote in a letter to Gov. Tom Corbett. The Department of Environmental Protection should release all results from such testing, including past tests, and rescind a policy regarding contamination notices for well owners, the groups wrote. A spokesman for the governor said regulators' oversight and state law already are "protecting private water wells from the impact of drilling." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (11/14)
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Expert: Bioterrorism spending has dropped, but threat hasn't
About $60 billion has gone toward fighting bioterrorism over a decade that hasn't seen any attacks, but cutting such spending is a bad idea because the threat hasn't gone away, said Leonard Cole, who directs the Terror Medicine and Security program at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. "In truth, an agent does not have to kill to be very effective at causing terror, including hysteria, panic, social disruption. And we saw a perfect example of that, just about 11 years ago, with the anthrax letters," which killed five people and spurred 30,000 to seek treatment or take other precautions. The Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.) (11/15)
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Laws and Regulations
Do you routinely utilize catastrophic events such as Hurricane Sandy as an opportunity to reassess your risk-management practices and evaluate their effectiveness?
Yes  71.43%
No  28.57%
Does bioterrorism pose a threat to your business operations? 
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VoteModerate threat
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Green Construction
Green-property index offers investors new sustainability measure
FTSE Group, NAREIT and the U.S. Green Building Council are developing a green property index for investors. It is meant to give retail and institutional investors a new way to invest in sustainability. "We've been tracking the U.S. REIT space for 18 years and have recently been hearing more from our clients about which companies own LEED-certified or Energy Star-certified assets," says Keven J. Lindemann of SNL Real Estate. Forbes (11/19)
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Aon News
Avoiding unnecessary claim denials
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and its resulting pollution issues and insurance claims that will continue to arise over the next months and possibly years, Aon offers helpful tips and reminders on various policy obligations and best claims management practices. Take this opportunity to become familiar with the various standards and commit to more careful claims management practices in an effort to avoid the avoidable such as coverage denial. Read more.
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Emerging liabilities associated with fracturing
This article explores the new risks and liabilities associated with fracturing, road use and storm damage. Kevin Sisk of Aon Risk Solutions addresses risk-management issues related to various liability exposures as the energy industry develops and deploys new technologies. Read more.
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Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
Albert Camus,
French author, journalist and philosopher
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Aon Environmental provides clients with the specialized expertise needed to understand their exposure and its consequences, including how it impacts financial objectives as well as corporate governance, sustainability, and regulatory concerns. Using a multi-disciplinary approach that draws upon experience in environmental law, environmental remediation, and environmental risk management, the Aon team has developed solutions for the largest and most complex environmental placements. Our superior technical skills, combined with market knowledge and relationships, ensure that the best presentation of our client's objectives will be made.

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