Homes And Underground Storage Tanks

Insurance policies continue to be written conservatively. In some instances, they still reflect situations that were prominent

While most homes, especially those built in the Ď80s or later, depend upon heating energy from utility companies, that is not the case for many homeowners. There are plenty of residential properties that include underground storage tanks. Most are for storing oil used for heating. Other residences may, for various reasons, have tanks for storing gas. In other instances, properties have tanks that were left buried after a home was converted to utility service.

Regardless how or why an underground tank may be present, homeowners must recognize that they have a L.U.S.T. (Leaky Underground Storage Tank) exposure. Though a tankís existence as a leak-proof structure varies, oil tanks are typically viable for a mere 10-15 years while petroleum tanks may last 30 or more years. Unfortunately, the following circumstances can lead to a significant leakage problem more quickly:

Itís important to be aware of the danger presented by underground tanks. Only a small volume of escaping oil or gas can endanger large amounts of drinking water. Aggravating this danger is the fact that such damage is considered to be pollution which isnít likely to be covered by a homeowners policy. This is true particularly if the homeowner knew of the tankís problem. Besides the danger of being sued by persons who have been harmed by any leakage, government authorities may also require that the property be restored to a non-toxic state (referred to as remediation) and then be subject to future testing and monitoring.

If you have an underground tank, contact your insurance professional. While there may be some insurance options, an agent is a good starting point for finding help for inspecting, maintaining and managing this tricky risk of loss.

COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2002

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