Replacing My Home’s Old Oil Tank – An Introduction

insurance broker charlotte

It’s Insurance Broker Charlotte here! Yes, I’m a real person and a real insurance broker, who just also happens to be on the TV ads for Harbord – The Home Insurance People.

I’m also a real homeowner—and it pains me to admit this as a veteran insurance broker, but my oil tank is reaching the end of its lifespan and needs to be replaced. I thought that it might be helpful to document the process from my unique perspective so that you can learn from this process!

A bit of background:

I started selling insurance approximately 16 years ago. At that point, oil tanks were really starting to be on the radar for insurers as a potential hazard. In fact, one of the first jobs that I had when starting to sell home insurance was to call hundreds of clients in our Fairfield office to tell them that (unfortunately) they were going to have to replace their old oil tank, or we would no longer be able to insure them. I’m grateful that I don’t often have to do that part of the job anymore, as my day-to-day is less broker and more marketing, but those calls did prepare me for my years in insurance.

What’s so bad about old oil tanks?

Older oil tanks are an issue for insurers, for multiple reasons. The older the tank is, the more likely it is to fail (and certain building materials used are also more likely to cause tank failure). Generally speaking, 20 years is the lifespan of an oil tank nowadays. The big issue with a failing tank is generally the environmental issues that surround leaking oil. The oil can get into the soil, and leech into various underground water sources which can be very expensive (millions of dollars) to remedy and safely extract the oil from the soil/water etc. The average cost to clean up an oil spill is $250,000-$400,000. Most insurers won’t cover the entire damage that the oil causes, but often they may be on the hook for the liability part of any lawsuit against you due to the leak.

So now what?

Well, next post I’ll go into the background about my home and what we’re planning to do about this old oil tank situation. Then, I’ll be sending out (real-life) updates as we go, to hopefully help you along your own home maintenance journey.

If you have any questions about your own heating situation, feel free to contact our home insurance team. If you call, they can also confirm I’m a real insurance broker!

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