The unusual – but necessary – coverage for commercial clients

Mar 2017

Even though storage tank insurance may not be common, for those who operate one, it can mark the difference between viability and financial ruin in any event of a loss.

“This is a unique product that few Markets specialize in, but it’s an important coverage for the sector,” said Ulli Garrett, senior underwriter, South Western Group Ltd.

Those who can benefit from these policies include:

  • Gas stations
  • Bulk fuel terminals
  • Airports
  • Truck stops
  • Rental car agencies
  • Farms

Moreover, not only does the coverage include the tank itself, but also any integral piping, fill points, dispensers, pumps and vapor recovery systems. It also extends to off-site cleanup costs and can be applied to retroactively for historic pollution.

Since a storage tank leak can affect surrounding properties, these advantages are imperative.

“In the case of a gradual leak from an underground storage tank at a gas station, gasoline or diesel fuel may contaminate the surrounding land,” Garrett said. “And if the neighbor happens to own a farm and crops are destroyed as a result of this, the loss could be devastating”.

With this coverage, however, that gas station would be protected.

“Our policy will offer cleanup costs, which could include removing contaminants, setting up barriers to prevent spreading, bio remediation” Garrett added. The policies will also look to cover decommissioning and replacement, as well as first party business interruption.

While some underwriters may be reluctant to touch storage tanks, South Western Group’s broad appetite means it is all-encompassing.

“We don’t shy away because of specifics. For us, as long as integrity test results are positive and we deem it’s an adequate risk, we will write it,” said Ghazal Hamid, branch manager, South Western Group Ltd.

This willingness, combined with the all-inclusive nature of the policies, has led to high levels of customer fulfillment.

“We’re incredibly gung ho about this product because the feedback has been nothing but positive,” Hamid said. “We can not only outprice our competitors, but we’re also able to provide broader parameters since our underwriting team understands these liabilities and aren’t afraid underwrite the exposure.”