Last summer, NationWeld Risk Retention Group was given approval to begin offering coverage for welding fume claims to GAWDA members. Since 2004, few insurance companies have provided coverage for welding fume claims and most expressly exclude coverage. Participation in Nationweld will allow provide welding fume liability coverage to distributors. As an added benefit, distributors who submit applications before December 15, 2006, will be eligible for retroactive coverage for the years 2004-2006. This “gap coverage” is valuable because most existing policies would not cover claims arising during that period. The risk is significant because welders typically claim injury as a result of prolonged exposure to fumes over the course of their careers, including periods that you may not currently have coverage. Despite the fact that the industry has enjoyed recent success defending welding fume cases, news suits will continue to be filed for the foreseeable future. The costs of defending these cases are substantial. Contact Gregory & Appel (800-968-7491) for more information.