Are You Covered for a Residential Oil Leak

by | Oct 22, 2021 | Homeowners Insurance, Personal Insurance

MA Oil Remediation Laws

In July of 2010, the State of Massachusetts put a law into effect addressing oil leaks from home heating systems. The law had two major provisions requiring:

  • The installation of either an oil safety valve or an oil supply line with protective sleeve on systems that do not have these devices
  • Insurance Companies that write home insurance must offer coverage for leaks from heating systems that use oil.

Some homeowners were exempt from taking these leak prevention steps if:

  • The oil burner is located above the oil storage tank and the entire oil supply line is connected to and above the top of the tank OR
  • An oil safety valve or oil supply line with a protective sleeve was installed on or after 1/1/90
    • AND Those changes comply with the oil burning equipment regulations; A copy of the oil burner permit from the local fire department may be used to demonstrate compliance.

More on the law here.

Cost of Residential Oil Leak

The cost of cleanup of a minor oil leak in your home could be more than $15,000. The cost of a major breach may involve not only the cleanup of the interior of your home but also the cleanup of the grounds outside of your home. If the oil seeped into the ground and the groundwater, the costs could approach the six-figure range. In some instances, the EPA may get involved and may require the homeowner to move the home to access the ground underneath it. The homeowner could be looking at expenses exceeding $250,000. For more information on what is required by the state of Massachusetts regarding clean up, click here.


Coverage For Homeowners

In the 11 years since the law went into effect, the majority of homeowners with oil should be in compliance and therefore eligible for coverage. While carrier requirements differ applying for this coverage could be as easy as providing a ‘certificate of compliance’ and a fuel remediation questionnaire.

This affordable coverage comes in at about a tenth of the low range estimated cost of remediation, making it a highly recommended coverage for homeowners heating their home with oil.

If you would like to discuss whether your homeowners policy includes this coverage please reach out to an FBinsure agent.


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