Howden responds to increasing wildfire risks

International insurance broker Howden has launched a Wildfire Excess Liability Lineslip (WELL) in response to the increasing need for insurance cover for contractors and subcontractors operating in wildfire-prone areas in the US, such as California, Washington, Oregon and Arizona.

The  facility will insurer general contractors and subcontractors against third party business interruption and property damage from Wildfires.

According to Howden, this will enable contractors engaged in wildfire-exposed areas of operations, such as vegetation management and electrical work for utilities, to carry out vital preventative and repair work.

Access to worksites is now typically restricted to contractors carrying a minimum $10m liability insurance, but the required coverage has become very difficult to obtain as available capacity has been significantly reduced across key US, London and Bermuda markets, the insurance broker added.

Justin Whitehead, executive director, Casualty at Howden, said, “We’ve seen increasing demand for this coverage over the last year as the capacity crisis in this space has become apparent, so we wanted to start 2022 with a product that could really make a difference. “WELL was designed in close collaboration with the London market to secure highly sought after excess liability capacity for Wildfire exposed contractors who face a real crisis of capacity. This is not only the first facility of its kind, but the partnership we have seen with insurers demonstrates a willingness across the market to address this emerging risk.”

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