Insurance and the environment, how do these two seemingly different topics tie together? In honor of Earth Day this year, we interviewed our very own Environmental Insurance specialist, David Naughton, to highlight the role insurance can play in our environment. Environmental Insurance, and the awareness David Naughton is building, is making an impact in our industry and local communities across the country. David Naughton, Vice President – Sales Producer at Acentria Insurance is helping to lead the way with over 30 years of experience in environmental insurance coverage needs.
We sat down with David Naughton recently to learn more about the importance of being environmentally aware, not just on Earth Day, but every day and to learn more about how Environmental Insurance is an important part of a Business Owners Insurance portfolio. Here are some highlights from our conversation:
What is the biggest example of waste you’ve ever seen? Food waste is a huge problem in the United States. It’s sad that our society is so litigious in nature and we can’t share leftover food with those who need it in an easier way.
- How could saving the environment make people healthier? Humans are the only animal that fouls their own nest. We need to hold ourselves accountable for our own actions. I believe if we do this, we will see how wasteful we truly are and where we can make an impact on our neighborhood and in fact our world.
- You currently live, work and play in Jacksonville, Florida. Where is the most beautiful nature in your community or a community that you serve? I am learning we have some incredible parks and they are available to us all for little to no cost. From the city, to state, to National……so many beautiful places we can visit and share with others.
- Do you have any local conservation associations that you’ve worked with or that you feel are making a difference? I am a local member of the Green Chamber which promotes green businesses and helps them learn how they can become more “Green—Environmentally Aware”. I can trace my affection for recycling and reuse back to my Grandfather. He used to take me “Trash picking” when I was just 6 years old. We would bring home other people’s “trash” and he would show me how to make useful things from items that had been discarded. I was too young to appreciate the economics of extending the life of durable goods but was totally hooked on how he made some really cool stuff from things others had tossed. I believe in the Institue of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) philosophy of recovering all they can from durable goods and either reusing them or recycling them into other “new” usable items.
- What are the most common environmental liabilities or exposures you can insure against? I think the biggest issue in Environmental Insurance is companies don’t recognize their true exposure……until it’s too late. Insurance is one of those things that you may not know is “broken” until it’s too late to fix it. Then you’re stuck paying not only for the loss, but all the costs associated with it. Companies don’t understand the standard definition of “Pollutant” can virtually be applied to any substance on earth……It truly just depends on the circumstances and the size of the loss.
- What are some rare environmental liabilities that are otherwise often overlooked? The chocolate syrup loss is my favorite. A large spill of chocolate syrup was actually denied as a claim because it was considered a “Pollutant”. Paint overspray is another example. Overspray on automobile hoods…covered, whereas overspray enters a confined space and injures an employee…denied as a pollutant. The point being one never knows. It’s better to at least investigate the coverage terms and conditions available rather than just assume you do not have exposure.
- We often talk about building a better world for generations to come; what comes to mind when you think of ways people can help contribute to a better environment in their home and/or in business? I think people can contribute to a better environment by embracing old school concepts like “Common Sense”…..Technology is wonderful and makes our lives so much easier in a lot of ways but people forget how to do things with their hands; things that are important and things that last. What happens when the power goes out, or a natural disaster occurs? We need to know how to do things on our own. We are already seeing issues with these “green” alternatives. What do we do with old windmill blades and solar panels? Will they be recyclable? I believe the earth is strong, but we need to learn how to coexist with her. The climate changes over time and it’s been that way since the beginning. How can we cooperate with that fact and adapt to it?
- David, what does Earth Day mean to you? Earth Day to me means HOPE… warmth and new birth are coming!
“Restore our Earth” is this year’s Earth Day theme for 2021. At a time when so many across our nation are looking to restore some normalcy and our own lives can begin to bloom again, we can each do our part to consider how we live our day-to-day lives. The choices we each make may affect our Earth and further aid in helping to restore its current state for generations to come. We encourage you to take part, however big or small you can, and join in the “Restore our Earth” Earth Day awareness celebrations across the country. You can find more information on Earth Day 2021 here: https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2021/.
Here are a few of David’s latest repurposed masterpieces. From old windows repurposed as a wall hanging message board, a door from made into a table, pallets turned into mirrors, salvaged surfboards are now chalkboards, and a new firepit made from truck wheels. With a little imagination combined with the desire to reduce and recycle, anything is possible. Small changes in how we reuse, repurpose and recycle now can make a long-lasting impact on our environment for generations to come and help “Restore Our Earth”.