Oil tank leaks: Risks, Prevention and Insurance Coverage

If your home oil tank leaks, it can cause serious damage to your property, belongings and possibly even your neighbours’ property. Even with a base home insurance policy, there’s nothing included to protect you financially from oil damage. It’s a situation that could have a real impact on your financial standing. Thankfully, we offer insurance coverage for exactly this kind of a scenario. With TD Insurance Fuel Oil Overflow or Escape coverage, we can help you manage the cost of clean-up.

What’s included in TD Insurance Fuel Oil Overflow or Escape coverage?

Here’s what’s included under this endorsement if an oil tank leak happens on your property:

  •   Coverage for loss or damage caused to your property by the sudden and accidental overflow or escape of fuel oil from an oil tank, apparatus or supply pipes connected to a usable heating system.
  •   Cost of cleaning and decontamination or remediation of your property.

Keep in mind, you’re not covered if you have loss or damage caused by repeated escape or overflow of fuel oil or if the damage occurs while the building is under construction or vacant. Loss or damage caused by an unknown buried oil tank is also not covered.

What causes home oil tank leaks?

There are several potential causes of home oil tank leaks to watch out for. For example, mechanical damage can happen if ice falls off your roof and breaks the oil tank. There have been instances of vehicles hitting oil tanks and causing leaks. Sometimes oil leaks are caused by ruptures to the oil line, too.

Another issue is with regular steel oil tanks, in which moist air can enter the tank when it’s low on fuel. If your tank is excessively low or empty, moisture can build up and corrode your oil tank from the inside out.

With so many things that could go wrong, you can see why it’s so important to have TD Insurance Fuel Oil Overflow or Escape coverage.

What are the risks associated with oil damage?

Home oil tank leaks can cause environmental hazards like groundwater contamination and spoiled soil quality.

There are also financial risks for those who don’t have any or enough coverage. For example, if you have an oil tank leak on your property and it damages your neighbour’s property, you’ll want to have third-party liability coverage.

These risks can affect you, your family and even your neighbourhood, too.

What steps can I take to prevent a home oil tank leak?

  1.   Choose the right size of the oil tank for your home and have it installed properly.
  2.   Regularly inspect your oil tank for signs of corrosion, such as rust or shifting.
  3.   Ask your oil distributor to do a visual inspection of your oil tank if you’re unsure about its age or condition.
  4.   Protect your oil tank lines from foot traffic.
  5.   Make sure your oil tank, lines and connections — and the area around them — are kept clear of snow and ice. Your fuel oil company may provide shielding devices.
  6.   Keep your roof clear of snow and ice that could fall on your oil tank.
  7.   Get a rust-detecting device for your oil tank.

How can I protect my home with Fuel Oil Overflow or Escape coverage?

When you apply for your free insurance quote, the oil tank on your property will be expected to meet certain eligibility requirements. (If you’re considering switching to oil heat, we recommend contacting us in advance.) If the requirements are met, We will automatically include this coverage as an add-on to your policy. Oil spills aren’t just a pain to clean up; they also pose a significant financial risk to homeowners. TD Insurance Fuel Oil Overflow or Escape coverage is not only affordable but potentially invaluable.

To speak with a TD Insurance Advisor and learn more about how TD Fuel Oil Overflow or Escape coverage can help protect you and your home, please visit our Contact Us page.