ISO Adds General Liability Classifications for Alternative Energy, Nanotechnology

May 31, 2011

ISO has announced new general liability classifications for alternative energy sources and nanotechnology. ISO is introducing most of the new classifications with accompanying estimated loss potentials.

“With heightened interest to reduce the carbon footprint, establish energy independence, and increase the use of renewable resources, alternative power is a priority for many,” said Beth Fitzgerald, vice president of commercial lines and modeling at ISO. “In response to the growing demand for alternative energy, ISO introduced classifications for risks in three main areas: biofuels, solar energy, and wind energy. The new classifications will allow for future evaluation of the loss experience of those emerging markets.”

The biofuels classifications consist of biofuels manufacturing and biofuels distributors. Since ethanol already has a widespread and accepted use, a further distinction is made between ethanol and biofuels other than ethanol.

The solar energy classifications include solar energy farms, solar energy equipment dealers or distributors, and solar energy equipment manufacturing. The wind energy classifications include wind turbine contractors –installation, service, or repair, and onshore and offshore wind farms.

ISO is separately establishing existence hazard classes for solar energy systems and wind turbines to address exposures associated with those systems on an insured’s premises.

The new classifications to address the growing use of nanotechnology are nanomaterial distributors and nanomaterial manufacturing.

The once-limited use of nanotechnology in electronics and information technology industries is now permeating the consumer marketplace, from cosmetics to clothing and more. The nanomaterial distributors classification applies to risks that sell nanomaterials to others, and the nanomaterial manufacturing classification applies to risks that manufacture or engineer nanomaterials for others.

The new classifications will be implemented in almost all jurisdictions beginning September 1, 2011.

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