New Law Requires Oil Heating Systems be Upgraded by 9/30/2011

August 24, 2011 at 9:34 AM | Posted in Home | Leave a comment
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New Law Requires Oil Heating Systems be upgraded by September 30, 2011.

Massachusetts has a new law to address oil leaks from home heating systems. This law has two major provisions that require:

* The installation of either an oil safety valve or an oil  supply line with protective sleeve on systems that do not currently have these devices; and

* Insurance companies write homeowner policies to offer coverage for leaks from heating systems that use oil.

Owners of one-unit to four-unit residences that are heated with oil must already have or must install a protective sleeve on oil safety valves and oil supply lines. Installation must be performed by a licensed oil burner technician. It is important to note that heating oil systems installed on or after January 1, 1990 are most likely already in compliance, since state fire codes implemented these requirements on new installations at that time.

Homeowners are 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 protective sleeve was installed on or after January 1, 1990, – and
  • Those changes are in compliance with the oil burning equipment regulations. A copy of the oil burner permit from the local fire department may be used to demonstrate compliance.

Homeowner policies do not currently include coverage for oils leaks or spills, resulting in costly cleanups out of your pocket. Although it is mandatory that insurance companies make this coverage available to homeowners whose systems are upgraded, the insurance is an optional purchase.

Homeowners who have been certified to be in compliance with (or exempt from) the leak prevention measures qualify to purchase insurance that:

  • Provides “first party coverage” of at least $50,000 for the cost of cleaning up a leak to soil, indoor air, or other environmental media from a home heating system at the residence itself and reimbursement for personal property damage, – and
  • Provides “third-party coverage” of at least $200,000 for the cost of dealing with conditions on and off the insured’s property because the leak from this system has or is likely to impact groundwater or someone else’s property. The coverage also includes costs incurred for legal defense, subject to a deductible not to exceed $1,000 per claim.

Time is of the essence! Each insurance company has slightly different coverage options available. If you are interested in this coverage or have further questions, call us at  888.850.9400.


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