May It Please the Court® A Weblog of Legal News & Observations
Quote of the Day - One kind word can warm three winter months. - Japanese proverb

Insurance Policies Cover Heating Oil Spills

With oil over $50 a barrel, heating oil prices are expected to increase dramatically this winter. Out here on the left coast, though, it's not so much of a worry. I just have to turn off the air conditioning.

My Mom, however, isn't happy. She lives on Cape Cod, and will have to spend more than she wants to. I think that's why she switched to gas heat.

She's also glad that she doesn't have this problem in Pennsylvania. But as homeowners, we all celebrate the decision that heating oil leaks don't fall within the pollution exclusion of homeowners insurance policies.

In this case, Marlene Epstein's heating oil tank ruptured in her basement and the oil leaked onto her neighbor's property. The neighbor promptly sued her, and Marlene's insurer, Atlantic Casualty Insurance Company, denied coverage and heaping insult on injury, filed a declaratory relief action seeking to avoid paying the claim.

Now there's a surprise - an insurance company that doesn't want to pay a claim.

But, justice won in the end, and Justice Ronald Buckwalter protected the community of homeowners who have heating oil tanks. And we all sigh with relief knowing oil contamination under our homes will be cleaned up.

Now about switching to gas ...

Posted by J. Craig Williams on Friday, October 08, 2004

MIPTC Home | View Weblog Archive

Back to top.