Oil Tank Care Without proper insurance, if your oil tank spills or leaks you could be 100% responsible for cleanup costs – which average $250,000 to $500,000 but can be even more. As a property owner, you are responsible for the year-round maintenance of this potential environmental hazard. Oil is used for home heating in some regions in Canada. For example, 42% of homes in Atlantic Canada have an oil tank.1 Litre of Leaked Oil Can Contaminate 1 Million Litres of WaterLeaks and spills from a home oil tank are dangerous and costly. After an oil tank spill, the average cost for cleanup is $250,000 to more than $500,000 and includes:Replacing the tank and supply linesRemoving contaminated soil from around your homeReplacing your home's foundation.If oil spills or leaks on your property, you could be responsible for all costs unless you have the proper insurance. As a property owner, you – not the oil company – are responsible for maintaining the oil tank. Oil Tanks and Your Home InsuranceTypically, a home insurance policy does not cover the loss or damage to your property resulting from an oil spill. However, the liability coverage provided by your home insurance policy may cover, up to the purchased monetary limit, the liability you incur when an unintentional oil spill on your property contaminates a neighbour's property. Intentional acts are not covered under home insurance liability coverage.What To Consider When Buying an Oil TankHome oil tanks hold about 1,000 litres and are available with plastic liners to help reduce internal corrosion and with valves for draining water. A tank's lifespan depends on its location and exposure to the elements, the grade of fuel used and maintenance. NEVER buy a used tank. When buying a tank, look for: Certification by the Standards Council of Canada or the Underwriters' Laboratories of CanadaMetal pipe connectionsOne that automatically prevents the accumulation of water by allowing condensation to be drawn off with oil entering the furnace4 Tips for Installing an Oil TankAsk your supplier about a certified installer for your new oil tank. Never transfer oil from an old to a new tank – it could contaminate the new tank with water-laden sludge. Your tank should be installed: At least 15 metres (50 feet) from a wellOn non-combustible footing, such as a concrete slab or patio stonesWhere it can be easily inspectedAway from a wall to help prevent it from rusting.5 Maintenance TipsRegularly inspect your tank for signs of corrosion, such as rust or shifting.Ask your oil distributor to do a visual inspection of your tank if you are uncertain about its age or condition.Protect your tank lines from foot traffic.Make sure your tank, lines and connections – and the area around them – are kept clear of snow and ice. Your fuel oil company may provide shielding devices.Keep your roof clear of snow and ice that could fall on your tank. Home Insurance: Is Yours Up to Date?Protect your most valuable asset. Make sure your home insurance is up to date with the checklist and tips in this brochure.Filing an Insurance ClaimSometimes life happens. If you’ve been in a collision or if your home has been burglarized or damaged in some way, you’ll want to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.Personal Property InventoryDo you know how much your possessions are worth?Home Insurance – Q&AQuestion to ask your insurance representative. Related ServicesGradingThe area next to your foundation becomes susceptible to water damage as the soil slope degrades. Improving the grade or angle of slope on your property can help improve water drainage, as well as prevent flooding and associated damage.Rain BarrelsRain barrels can reduce water consumption by 27,000 litres per growing season. Installation is easy with IBC’s tips.Backwater ValvesSewage in a basement or on a ground floor is a mess. Installing a backwater valve can prevent sewers from backing up and may make you eligible for a rebate.Roof ProtectionYour roof plays an important role in protecting your home and its contents. Damage to a roof caused by hail or wind is usually covered under a home insurance policy. Hire a licensed roofing contractor for repairs, replacement and advice on appropriate roof materials.DownspoutsAcross Canada, many municipalities have mandatory, volunteer or rebate programs to encourage homeowners to disconnect their downspouts from the sewer system. Directing rainwater away from sewers has economic and environmental benefits. Here’s how to disconnect your downspouts. Useful LinksBuying Home InsuranceAs a homeowner, you need to insure your house for replacement costs so that in the event of serious damage or destruction you have adequate coverage. Be sure to keep your home insurance current by reporting material changes or upgrades.Home Inventory ApplicationA current inventory of your belongings makes it easier to file a claim. Keeping your records off-site is wise in case a fire or flood damages your property. Consider updating your home inventory each spring and advise your insurer of any major purchases.DisasterAm I covered? When can I start to rebuild? In the wake of a disaster, there are many questions to consider. ICLRThe Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) is a world-class centre for multi-disciplinary disaster prevention research and communications.