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Fly tipping – considering insurance

27 April 2023

Disposal of waste and landfills are increasing in cost and there are tighter restrictions in place on what can be deposited.

Fly tipping or people illegally dumping waste onto land which is not licensed to take the waste is therefore becoming an increasing issue.

For the 2021/22 year, local authorities in England dealt with 1.09 million fly-tipping incidents. 37,000 or around 4% of total incidents were of ‘tipper lorry load’ size or larger and for these large fly-tipping incidents, the cost of clearance to local authorities in England in 2021/22 was £10.7 million.

For land or property owners the cost of having to deal with getting rid of this waste can be significant.  It could prevent you from being able to arrange a lease with a new tenant, it can cost a large amount of money to get rid of the waste and it could cost you in landfill tax or any penalty fines that may apply.

Since April 2018 HMRC have extended Landfill Tax to apply to waste which is disposed of at unauthorised sites. This means that any person or business who makes a disposal at an unauthorised waste site, or knowingly causes or permits the disposal, may be liable for the tax. Those involved in the illegal disposal could face fines of up to 100% of the tax or criminal prosecution.

What can go wrong and is there any cover?

On top of the introduction of fines and further penalties for fly tipping, insurance is also something to consider.

Not all Property Owners Insurance policies provide cover for fly tipping and even when cover is provided it is worth checking the policy for any conditions or limits which may apply in respect of the cover. If you are unsure then speak to your broker.

Long term vacant properties are a major target for dumpers and tippers. However, even if your property is not vacant, if it is out in the open or is easily accessible via vehicular access you could be at significant risk.

What can you do to protect your property?

Prevention is the best possible solution to fly tipping. This can be done by enhancing the levels of visible security at the premises or doing more to prevent unauthorised access, particularly from unauthorised vehicles.

Whilst you can do everything to prevent fly tipping from happening on a site, you cannot remove all the risk and having the right solution in place is key. Cover for fly tipping can be arranged under an insurance policy ensuring you have the correct limits for these claims is equally important as if cover is not sufficient it could be left to the policy holder to pay the balance to clear the site. Especially important if you have a vacant properties, this must be notified to insurers to make sure fly tipping cover can be maintained.

If you have any questions about what cover is needed or how the cover can benefit you or a client, please call Stuart Reynolds on 01905 969457 or 07821 665206, or email

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