Insurance Coverage

There are three basic forms of insurance related to the consequences of using an underground oil tank, they are as follows:

  • Standard oil tank insurance policies pay for the installation of a new tank. Most policies of this type exclude coverage for any kind of cleanup.
  • In 1995, the Washington State Legislature authorized the creation of an insurance pool which is designed to protect the owners of existing oil heated homes, small businesses, churches, and schools from the liability of contamination from spills or leaks. The premiums for the insurance are paid by the heating oil dealers. For more information, contact the Oil Heat Institute of Washington at (206) 548-1500. The program is being implemented by the Pollution Liability Insurance Agency. The Pollution Liability Insurance Agency can be contacted at (360) 586-5997. This insurance covers in-use tanks which have been registered with the agency and which experienced leaks after January 1 1996. Analytic testing, oil consumption data, and other methods are being used by the insurer to determine when the contamination occurred. Other states may have similar programs.
  • Most homeowner insurance policies appear to exclude coverage for soil contamination. Exceptions may exist in cases where the oil plume has entered a neighboring property and created a 'third party liability'.