Search Site
Menu
Insuring Your Underground Storage Tanks

November 24, 2004

Insuring Your Underground Storage Tanks

by Stuart Lieberman
Realty Times

You would not buy a car and fail to insure it, would you? You would not buy a home and not insure it? Indeed, anything that is expensive to replace needs to be insured.

And in the same light, you should not buy a home with an underground storage tank and not insure the tank against leakage. Why? Because tank leaks can be very expensive. While they often cost tens of thousands of dollars to address, some underground storage tank leaks have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. And I am talking about residential heating oil tanks, not retail gasoline underground storage tanks.

Yes, it is true that a leaking residential heating oil tank can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to remediate. It is not usually the case, but all of us in the business have seen this happen.

Which brings me back to the point of this article: You need to make sure that your homeowners insurance policy covers you in the event that you have a leaking tank.

And that is becoming an increasingly difficult task. Many homeowner insurance companies are attempting to exempt leaking underground storage tanks from coverage. You need to read your policy and see whether or not leaking underground tanks, or damage stemming from leaking underground storage tanks, are covered.

I can tell you that homeowner insurance policies are not the easiest thing to read. Have your agent point out the language that ensures coverage if there is a tank leak. If you are not familiar with insurance policy language, let your broker help you. He or she is paid to provide you with this service.

I had a client come to the office who was actually told that he should purchase a certain company’s insurance policy for his home because that company does not exclude coverage for underground storage tanks. But guess what, there was an exclusion in the policy. While that homeowner may have purchased a lawsuit, who wants a lawsuit?

If the insurance company that you use no longer covers underground tanks, see whether a rider can be purchased. Sometimes riders are available just for this kind of coverage and sometimes they are not all that expensive.

And if your company does neither, then look for another company. This is simply too expensive of a risk to go uninsured. Yet, many people are uninsured and do not even have a clue.

Some states allow heating oil retailers to sell products that are designed to address leaking tank problems. Beware that these products can be very limited in scope. They do not usually replace the need to also have homeowners tank insurance. However, they are often inexpensive and provide a nice supplement to a homeowner policy.

Leaking tank problems can be devastating. Usually they are not, but they can be. You need to make sure that you are adequately insured. It is that simple. Ask the right questions and know exactly what you are purchasing.

Our Attorneys

Recent Twitter Posts

  • New report finds that significant offshore wind capacity exists along the Atlantic coast. https://t.co/EQG8d5VMw2
    3 months ago
  • The Murphy Administration plans to spend $200 million on wind port. https://t.co/Se09U5ZHvy
    4 months ago
  • NJDEP aims to simplify permitting process. https://t.co/UTm92DtrAC
    4 months ago
  • U.S. Supreme Court will hear PennEast Pipeline appeal of New Jersey eminent domain dispute. https://t.co/AqqvTw1QD2
    4 months ago

Recent Blog Posts

Tenants Must Be Informed of Lead in their drinking water

Governor Murphy just signed legislation (S968/A2836) that will require landlords to notify tenants of elevated lead levels. This is particularly meaning in New Jersey where we have many people impacted
Read More
Tenants Must Be Informed of Lead in their drinking water

NJDEP new stormwater regulations are in effect

Developers in New Jersey must now meet the State’s new stormwater regulations. New Jersey has had numerous generations of stormwater regulations, some of which have had to be revised following
Read More
NJDEP new stormwater regulations are in effect

New Jersey families allege birth defects and severe illnesses due to major chemical companies’ discharges and emissions

Families in New Jersey have filed multiple lawsuits in the District Court of New Jersey alleging that their birth defects and/or illnesses are the result of chemical pollution. Four suits
Read More
New Jersey families allege birth defects and severe illnesses due to major chemical companies’ discharges and emissions

Warehouse Construction in NJ May Be Curtailed in Proposed Legislation

New Jersey State Senate subcommittees are currently considering a bill (S-3688) that aims to dramatically slow shipping and distribution warehouse construction across the State. Recently it seems that is the
Read More
Warehouse Construction in NJ May Be Curtailed in Proposed Legislation

In the media

  • Gulf Coast Town Center facing foreclosure

    Naples Daily News, September 16, 2015

    Wells Fargo filed a lawsuit Sept. 8 against an affiliate of CBL & Associates, the owners of the decadeold, 1.2 million-square-foot mall in south Fort Myers for a $190.9 million unpaid loan. The center has 94 stores on 204 acres, with such anchors as Super Target, Belk, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Marshalls and Costco...

    Read More
  • Town liable for private company's leaking underground tanks, court rules

    NJ.com Jul 26, 2017

    CRANFORD -- A couple that owned a businesses in town and became sick from leaking underground tanks owned by an adjacent business can sue the township for damages because the tanks were partially ...

    Read More
  • Dark Waters: How a Class Action Catapulted NJ to Forefront of 'Forever Chemicals' Battle

    NJ Law Journal Jan 09, 2020

    As property owners become increasingly aware of PFAS contamination, and as individuals exposed to PFAS learn of the health risks associated with exposure, liability will likely affect entire supply chains.

    Read More
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
Contact Our Firm

Quick Contact Form