total pollution exclusion

A total pollution exclusion eliminates virtually all coverage for pollution incidents, including those retained in the standard commercial general liability (CGL) policy despite its "absolute" pollution exclusion.

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The three Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO), total pollution exclusion endorsements (CG 21 49, CG 21 55, and CG 21 65) remove coverage for bodily injury (BI) or property damage that "would not have occurred in whole or part but for" a pollution incident. The second of these endorsements, CG 21 55, includes a specific exception for damages caused by smoke, heat, or fumes from a hostile fire. The third, CG 21 65, makes exceptions both for hostile fire and for BI caused by fumes from faulty building heating equipment. Insureds should attempt to avoid any of these endorsements and should negotiate for CG 21 65 if the insurer insists on adding one of them.