From the early 90s to present years, there have been plenty of residential properties with underground storage tanks. Most tanks are used for storing oil used for heating while other residences may have tanks for storing gas. In some cases, properties have tanks that were left buried after a home was changed to a utility service.
If a homeowner has an underground tank, they must recognize his or her exposure to L.U.S.T. (Leaky Underground Storage Tank). A tank’s structure varies, as it may or may not be leak proof. Oil tanks are typically more practical for about 10-15 years. Petroleum tanks may last 30 or more years.
Unfortunately, the following circumstances can lead to a significant leakage problem:
- A tank that was not properly placed during installation
- Improper materials were used to surround the tank (ashes or cinders will break down with moisture and cause exterior tank corrosion)
- Water build-up inside tanks (water combines with other chemicals and causes interior rusting)
- The tank and delivery pipes don’t have guards for preventing overspills
It’s crucial to be aware of the danger presented by underground tanks. The smallest volume of leaking oil or gas can endanger large amounts of drinking water. Such damage is considered to be pollution, which is not likely to be covered by a homeowners policy, particularly if the homeowner knew of the tank problem. The homeowner can also be in danger of being sued by those who have been harmed by any leakage. Authorities may also require that the property be restored to a non-toxic state and then may be required to have future testing and monitoring done. Underground tanks are regulated by the federal, state and local officials. It is important for tank owners to be aware and abide by the laws.
If you have an underground tank, contact your insurer for help with inspecting, maintaining and managing this risk of loss.
If you have any questions about your existing policy, are inquiring information about a possible future policy or need further information, please call us at (631) 738-7300 or get a quick quote at www.vrpinsurance.com
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