At last – an oil tank insurance policy for homeowners

Many homeowners using oil may believe that they are fully insured against the risk of pollution following a leak or spill from their tank by their standard buildings and contents insurance, but the reality could be very different.

Pollution and contamination can sometimes be excluded completely from standard insurance polices, or included within a limit. Even when cover is given, it is almost always restricted to physical loss or damage caused by a sudden and identifiable incident, rather than a gradual leak, or as a result of wear and tear or lack of maintenance. Clean up of a policy holder’s own land and water, including groundwater, is often not provided for at all or is limited.

The result can be a devastating uninsured clean-up bill for the homeowner, particularly if ground or surface water is affected.

Recognising the risk that homeowners face, Oil Spill Insurance is launching HomeSpill, a stand-alone policy which, amongst other things, will cover the costs of a 24/7 spill response and emergency clean-up by registered specialists. Cover will also be provided for tracing and accessing the source of the leak, temporary heating, restoring soft landscaping and third-party liabilities up to policy limits. Policy limits of £100,000 or £250,000 will be available to purchase.

Before cover is provided, OFTEC registered tank installers and boiler engineers will be utilised to carry out the initial tank systems inspections and any remedial works, and then engaged annually thereafter.
Judy Hadden, of Oil Spill Insurance, said: “For homeowners to be aware of their responsibilities for safe oil storage and to use the services of OFTEC registered technicians to minimise the chances of a pollution event is of paramount importance. Homeowners shouldn’t rely on simple verbal assurances that they’re covered. They should ask very precise questions and get the answers in writing”.

“We have had significant interest in HomeSpill from home-owners, oil buying clubs, oil installers and engineers, as well as other stakeholders such as water companies, the regulators and, of course, OFTEC, who are all keen to see the water supply and environment protected”.

Readers can register their interest in being kept up to date on the launch of HomeSpill on the OilSpill Insurance website at