It’s an unfortunate fact of life in the exploration business: however safe and well managed your operation is, insurance companies usually consider the mining industry to be hazardous and risky. They tend to think of the potential for large catastrophic losses and serious injury that can give rise to big liability claims – and therefore believe the industry is difficult to underwrite and shy away from it. Unfortunately, this misconception of exploration and mining has led to a restriction of the number of insurers that underwrite mining risks and made it into a specialty class of business – with the consequence that the lack of competition has driven up pricing.
Even though your business may be operated and managed well, there are risks to your business – not only from contractors working with unfamiliar heavy equipment or the failure to explain all the potential hazards at the site to workers. There are also risks associated with pressure for increased production, or different safety standards between you and your contractor – along with the use of explosives, mobile equipment, skidoos and ATVs.
What’s more you can still be liable even on inactive projects. For example, there’s a famous case where a hiker went on to a property which was not even being worked on. The hiker explored a mine and fell through a shaft sustaining serious injury. This led to a multi-million dollar award in the US – even though the property was not an active exploration project.
However, thanks to Axis Insurance Managers’ long history of working with mining and mineral exploration companies we understand the mining business intimately and how our clients operate. We are therefore much better equipped than most brokers to present the risks you face to a market that generally misunderstands the business.
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