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Oil Tank Corrosion Failure - Enforce Your Protective Rights
Corrosion is the most common cause of underground oil tank failure. This failure may result in thousands of dollars for cleanup to the property owner. Since 2000, most insurance companies have excluded environmental coverage in their homeowner policies. Some oil delivery companies offer oil tank coverage, but for the most part the fine print limitations coverage to only pay for the tank replacement and not the cost of the environmental cleanup. Payment for all or part of the cleanup may rest with the previous homeowners, their insurance company, your own insurance company, or several insurance companies if the leak started before the exclusion for coverage was made. Environmental case law provides for cost sharing of the cleanup in the cases where it can be demonstrated that the leaks existed when insurance coverage existed or the leak took place during the property ownership by others.

The key to determining whether others may share in the cleanup costs is to conduct an environmental engineering corrosion time to failure report. This analysis uses metallurgical, soil chemistry and statistical studies to establish the time frame when the leak occurred. This time of failure is then compared with the dates of the insurance policy coverage was in effect or a time when others owned the property. If the time period that your underground tank leaked are within the time that an insurance policy was in effect, you may have the right to demand that the insurance company that was in force during the leak pay its share of the cleanup costs. This time of failure determination has been used in litigation, mediation and settlement of many cases. The time of failure establishment is not only helpful to homeowners and owners of gas or other storage petroleum tanks, but also to attorneys evaluating leak coverage and insurance companies defending a leak claim.

A leading engineering company that specializes in corrosion time of failure for single wall steel tanks is KSM Engineering. KSM will evaluate your specific case. Work with qualified attorneys and determine if your case has the potential of being covered by present or past insurance policies.

Forensic Engineering

When there is a failure, many insurance companies and property owners need to know how, when and why it happened to establish liability. KSM is experienced in many aspects of accident/failure reconstruction and research including the following.

  • Determination of time of failure of oil tanks, USTs and AGTs
  • Material failure load & stress analyses
  • Accident reconstruction
  • Building code compliance and violation analyses
  • Product, systems and structure failure analyses
  • Safety evaluation of buildings


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