A survey by a leading insurer finds that half the businesses in Spain don’t have environmental insurance

Research amongst Spanish companies revealed a significant lack of awareness of environmental legislation and risks affecting their businesses and a lack of knowledge about the insurance protection available.

The Business Environmental Liability study of over 700 businesses in Spain showed that over half did not have specific environmental cover. But more alarmingly, over 30% said they would not take any action to protect themselves against a possible environmental accident.

Companies said their public liability and general business insurance policies provided them with sufficient environmental risk protection. But ACE Iberia, which sponsored the study by TNS, said that these products do not conform to the requirements of on Environmental Liability.

The research also revealed that levels of awareness of the Environmental Liability Directive (ELD) are low, with 65% of respondents saying they were unaware that the Spanish government could make it obligatory for them to have a fund, collateral or insurance to cover their business against possible environmental damage.

Mariola Alfonso, leader of the TNS study commented: "Spanish companies are highly dedicated to the environment and are conscious of their role. However, there is a major lack of awareness about current environmental legislation, and companies would like more information. There are two sides to this situation because in spite of the clear lack of awareness, there is also a positive attitude towards improvement, demonstrated by the fact that a third of the companies said they would be prepared to invest to protect the environment."

Respondents placed insurance as the most likely form of environmental risk protection they would consider (43.1%), this was significantly ahead of other forms including technical reserving (4.8%) and collateral (2.4%).