A Note from Leadership – Barry Geisler, Divisional Senior Vice President

The focus of this edition of Environmental Insider is mold. Anyone that owns or operates commercial, retail or residential structures, or that builds or services any such structures, or the components therein, needs to recognize and address mold exposures. Somewhat surprisingly, coverage for mold has been part of environmental insurance policies for over 15 years. In the early 2000’s, underwriters were simply trying to figure out how to properly underwrite and structure coverage around this emerging risk. Since that time, the industry appetite for mold coverage expanded greatly, and it has become a critical coverage element for our clients.

Microscopic image of mold


With the expansion of coverage, the environmental insurance industry has also experienced an increase in both the frequency and severity of claims. Claims related to mold have become a loss leader for environmental insurers, and our industry is at a crossroad with regard to mold coverage. There has been some retraction in the marketplace as a result. Certain high risk classes of business like hospitality and wood frame construction have received increased scrutiny. Underwriting controls like per door deductibles, higher retentions and shorter policy terms are becoming more standard.  

At Great American, we believe that every risk is different and should be underwritten on its own merits. We rely on our underwriting knowledge and experience to find acceptable coverage structures for our clients. 

The articles in this edition of the Environmental Insider provide insight regarding our view of the risk and our underwriting approach to coverage. We hope you find this information useful, and we look forward to meeting your environmental insurance needs.

Please enjoy the following articles and feel free to contact Great American at any time. We are always here for you.

Mark Vuono Portrait

Barry Geisler, Environmental Division Senior Vice President signature
Barry Geisler
Divisional Senior Vice President, Great American Environmental Division

Barry is a divisional Senior Vice President and Chief Underwriting Officer for the Great American Environmental Division, leading our Executive Underwriting team. He has been with the Environmental Division for the past ten years. Barry’s prior experience includes serving as contracts counsel with the environmental insurance space as well as working on complex commercial and defense litigation. He is based out of our Exton, PA office.