Insurance Requirements for the Brownfield Incentive Grant (BIG) Program

What are the BIG Program insurance requirements?

The New York City (NYC) Brownfield Incentive Grant (BIG) Program requires Qualified Vendors (QVs) to maintain insurance that is adequate for the nature and scope of services that the QV will perform. BIG reimburses grantees for more than 100 different types of services and activities. The extent and type of insurance required varies according to the type of work performed and the type of QV. Where insurance is required, a QV must provide an insurance certificate specimen and execute an agreement to indemnify the City of New York, the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), and the BIG Program Administrator as part of the QV application process.

What type of insurance is required?

For a site investigation, an environmental consultant must be a BIG Program Qualified Vendor and carry professional liability insurance in the amount of $1 million per occurrence. For a cleanup,  contractors hired to perform remedial work and their subcontractors must carry commercial general liability coverage at $1,000,000 per occurrence and contractors pollution liability coverage of $1,000,000 per occurrence. In addition, these policies must list the City, NYCEDC, and the Program Administrator as additional insureds. For the preparation of reports and documents, such as a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment or a deed restriction, QVs including architects, engineers, attorneys and qualified environmental professionals, must carry professional liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence. For grant writing and certain types of BIG grants, including E-Designation remediation grants and environmental insurance grants, no insurance is required.

What if the work was completed and I didn't have the insurance in place?

Because the BIG Program is new and parties may seek reimbursement for work previously performed when they did not know of the program’s insurance requirements, the NYC Office of Environmental Remediation recognizes that the required insurance may not have been obtained before the work was conducted. Grant applications and/or their QVs can request a waiver of the insurance requirements that OER will consider on a case-by-case basis in the first year of the program.

What if I don't have Professional Liability Insurance?

The BIG Program only requires professionals to carry Professional Liability (PL) insurance when the standard practice in that industry is to carry such insurance. Thus, grant writers, community-based organizations (CBOs), local development corporations (LDCs), community development corporations (CDCs), community development financial institutions (CDFIs), and insurance brokers are not  required to carry PL insurance under the BIG program.

Do all BIG grants require insurance?

No insurance is required for the following grant types:

  • Environmental Insurance Grant
  • BOA Local Match Grant
  • BOA Application Technical Assistance Grant
  • Hazardous Materials E-Designation or Restrictive
  • Declaration Remediation Grant


Type of Qualified Vendor Likely Grant Types Insurance Requirements
Environmental Consultant /
Licensed Professional Engineer
Pre-Enrollment Grants, Enrollment
(Cleanup) Grants, Hazardous
Materials E-Designation or Restrictive
Declaration (RD) Remediation Grant
PL for reports prepared
CGL+ for invasive work
No insurance required
for E-Designation or RD
Attorney Pre-Enrollment Grants, BOA
Application Technical Assistance Grant
Registered Architect / Registered
Landscape Architect
Pre-Enrollment Grant PL
Planner Pre-Enrollment Grant PL
Grant Writer BOA Application Technical Assistance
No insurance required
Licensed Land Surveyor
Pre-Enrollment Grant PL
Licensed Insurance Broker / Agent
Environmental Insurance Grant
No insurance required

Not-for-Profit Services Providers, including Community-Based Organizations (CBO), Community Development Corporations (CDC), and Community Development Financial Institutions

BOA Local Match Grant,
BOA Application Technical Assistance Grant, Pre-Enrollment Technical Assistance Grant
No insurance required

PL: Professional Liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 per claim.

CGL+ : Site-specific Commercial General Liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 per claim, naming the City of New York, NYCEDC, and Brownfield Redevelopment Solutions, Inc. (the BIG Grant Administrator) as additional insured; worker's compensation, employer's liability insurance, disability benefits insurance, and unemployment insurance to the extent required by law; and Business Automobile Liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 per accident if vehicles are used to perform the work.