Fuel Remediation

Homeowner Oil Heating System Upgrade and Insurance Law

Massachusetts has a new law to address oil leaks from home heating systems (Chapter 453 of the Acts of 2008, as most recently amended in 2010). This law has two major provisions that require:

  • the installation of either an oil safety valve or an oil supply line with protective sleeve on systems that do not currently have these devices; and
  • insurance companies that write homeowner policies to offer coverage for leaks from heating systems that use oil.

Most homeowner policies do not currently include such coverage, leaving many to pay for costly cleanups out of their own pocket. Although it is mandatory that insurance companies make this coverage available by July 1, 2010 to homeowners whose systems are upgraded, the insurance is an optional purchase.

What could it cost to cleanup a leak?

The cleanup cost for a "simple" leak can be as much as $15,000. In cases where the leak impacts the groundwater or is more extensive, the cleanup costs can reach $250,000 or more.

To be eligible for the new insurance coverage, homeowners must ensure that their oil heating systems are in compliance with the new law. Homeowners who have been certified to be in compliance with (or exempt from) the leak prevention measures qualify to purchase insurance that:

  • provides "first party coverage" of at least $50,000 for the cost of cleaning up a leak to soil, indoor air, or other environmental media from a home heating system at the residence itself and reimbursement for personal property damage, AND
  • provides "third party coverage" of at least $200,000 for the cost of dealing with conditions on and off the insured's property because the leak from this system has or is likely to impact groundwater or someone else's property. The coverage also includes costs incurred for legal defense, subject to a deductible not to exceed $1,000 per claim.

Contact us to find out more about this valuable protection option.

 

 

1-800-DOHERTY

Doherty Insurance Agency
21 Elm Street
Andover, MA. 01810
Telephone: 978-475-0260
Fax: 978-475-0303