If you have an oil based heating system your oil tank is one of the most important parts of that system, as it stores the fuel needed to make your furnace run and keep your home warm and cosy all winter. While issues with a properly maintained and inspected tank are rare it’s always good to be prepared in case something does go wrong. Oil tank insurance will help keep out of pocket costs down if your tank leaks and causes problems.
Oil tanks are usually covered under your homeowners insurance. When buying a new home it’s a good idea to have the oil tank inspected to determine its condition before buying, so you know whether to factor an oil tank replacement into your budget in the near future.
Your insurance company will determine when your tank needs to be replaced. Even well maintained tanks can have natural wear and tear that makes them more susceptible to leaks as they age so insurance companies have standards they follow to avoid possible issues. On average an outdoor tank is required to be replaced after 13 to 15 years of age. Indoor tanks have a little more time, due to not being exposed to the elements, and don’t need to be replaced until 18 to 20 years of age. Indoor tanks may also be a cheaper option insurance wise because there is less liability should a leak happen. The leak would be contained and there is no possibility of water table contamination that would require regular soil testing. Buried oil tanks are very unlikely to be insured and could leave you covering 100% of the costs should a leak occur.
Double wall Fibreglass tanks are one option that could be an exception to your insurance company’s oil tank replacement guidelines. Though more expensive, these tanks are stronger and more leak resistant, and can often outlast a typical tank. Many insurance companies will allow for fibreglass tanks to be inspected when they reach the company’s age limit and if they are still in good condition you can have your policy extended for the tank.
It’s important to keep up with the guidelines for your area as well. Some provinces have their own requirements for when oil tanks must be replaced that may not line up with your insurance company’s requirements.
As always, you’ll also want to make sure you have your tank inspected and cleaned regularly to make sure it’s working efficiently. That will make your insurance company happy and ensure your tank will be more likely to reach the maximum age limit before needing to be replaced. Check out our blog on preparing your oil tank for winter for some great tips on oil tank maintenance.