WRAP’s Welsh arm has launched the first phase of a project aimed at addressing increasing insurance costs in the waste industry.
The organisation will assess the scale of the problem by surveying resource management companies operating in Wales.
The research project was prompted by MRW reports of a rapid increase in insurance premia resulting from a high number of fires at waste facilities last year, a spokesperson for WRAP Cymru told MRW.
She added that the organisation had anecdotal evidence that rising insurance costs were threatening the viability of waste management companies, and in some cases this had forced businesses to cease trading.
WRAP Cymru had also heard of discrepancies between insurers’ and regulators’ requirements for waste facilities, as well as of best practices that had helped some businesses reducing their premiums.
The study, undertaken on behalf of the Welsh Government, will help determine the size of the issue, and provide evidence for intervention if needed.
The spokesperson said the findings will be made available to other governments. WRAP Cymru was the best positioned to undertake such work given its close ties with the Welsh waste industry, she added.
Susan Jay, business and markets manager at WRAP Cymru, urged companies to participate in the online survey, scheduled to be live at www.surveymonkey.com/s/Wastemanagementinsurance between 1 August and 12 September.
“Wales’ resource management sector has grown significantly in recent years, and WRAP Cymru is proud of our contribution to this growth,” said Jay. “However, as MRW has reported, rising insurance costs could pose a risk to the sector, and it is essential that we understand the exact size of this risk.”
In April, Catlin Insurance Company, a major underwriter for the waste industry, decided to stop quoting any new business from the sector citing a high number of fires at recycling facilities as one of the main reasons for the pull-out.
Natural Resource Wales registered 61 fire incidents at Welsh waste sites between 2012 and 2013.