Posted by: jmwilsonmga | March 5, 2013

Importance of Storage Tank Equipment Inspections

Being an agent is one of a few occupations in the insurance industry where you have to constantly search for business to be able to fill your own in box.  Depending on what market you are in, your target area and the business you pursue can make this somewhat easy or an extremely difficult task.  Well, we are here to help!  One area where JM Wilson has been having growing success is with environmental liability, more specifically, Underground Storage Tank (UST) Pollution Liability.

How many times do you drive by or stop at a gas station to fill up, grab a bottle of water/soda/coffee or a snack, and just quickly get back on the road?  I would have to guess, quite a few times.  As you fill up your tank you might scan over the building, parking lot, the pumps and even the canopies and think to yourself, “I have a great market I could place the property and liability with and probably save them some money,” which is probably true, but what about those items you cannot see?

What about the tanks under your feet that hold the gas you are putting into your vehicle?  What happens if one of those begins to leak or the equipment begins to malfunction? 

That has to a big payout if a claim occurs, right?  I think it is safe to say that it would be, from digging up the tanks to replace them, to cleaning the soil from all pollutants etc…  It’s a big risk for an insured to not be properly covered when it comes to the pollution liability and as mentioned before, that is where JM Wilson can help.  On top of being able to quote the property and liability, we have a wonderful product written with Great American for the UST Pollution Liability.  This product is admitted in MI, WI, WV, VA, NC and SC and non-admitted in the remaining states we are licensed (NE, IA, IL, IN, OH, PA, KS, MO, KY, OK, AR, MS, TN, MS, AL and GA).  Keep in mind, this product also includes above ground tanks and is not limited to gas stations.

Here are some simple ways, from Great American Insurance Group, your client or prospective client can help protect their tanks from equipment malfunction:

“There are usually multiple reasons for equipment failures with many of the root causes outside of the owner or operator’s control. One thing the owner/operator does have control over is how often they are inspecting their equipment for such failures and catching them before there is a loss.

Items that contribute to equipment failure are compatibility issues with new fuel blends, sub quality materials, sub quality installers or contractors, adverse geographic or climatic conditions that provide constant wear and tear to the tank system.  It can take years for these items to cause a failure and it can happen relatively quickly, within just a few months.

Simple ways to protect from these conditions brewing up a “perfect storm” is to perform routine self-inspections of the ancillary equipment and perform inventory control and reconciliation regularly.

Sump and Spill Bucket inspections are now required as part of the US EPA 2005 Energy Act.

Sumps are a subsurface area that provides access to the equipment located below the ground.  Contained sumps (turbine, dispenser or transition/immediate) are designed to prevent releases into the environment by having sides, bottom and a cover to be airtight and avoid water seepage.   Spill buckets are located where the delivery driver connects the product and vapor recovery hoses to your tank.  They are meant to contain drips and small spills that may occur with delivery of product.

Some items to look for while inspecting sumps and spill buckets include:

  • Are the lids tight and sealed correctly?
  • Are the walls intact?
  • Is the area free of debris, liquid, or ice?
  • Is the containment area free of cracks or wholes?
  • Is there a sign of a leak, staining or new staining?
  • Are there any signs or rust?
  • Is the equipment inside the containment in good condition?  This would include the flex connector hoses, couplings, system piping, connections, leak detectors, etc.

IF the answer no to any of these questions or it is noticed that the your system is not what it used to be, a testing or pump company should be contacted to come to your site immediately to do a professional inspection and make repairs before they cause a problem.

Photo Credit : TopTanx

Photo Credit : TopTanx

Photo Credit : TopTanx

Photo Credit : TopTanx

Photo Credit : TopTanx

Photo Credit : TopTanx

For more information and guidance visit the EPA website:

Source : TopTanx / Great American Insurance Group

James-ReinckeAbout the Author : James Reincke, Wisconsin Branch Manager

James became a member of the J.M. Wilson Team in 2006 and currently serves as the Wisconsin Branch Manager. He oversees the staff and day-to-day operations of the Wisconsin Branch Office while building strong relationships with agents.  James loves meeting the many different people that his position allows him to work with.  In his free time, James loves bowhunting, fishing, watching football, and most importantly, being the best father he possibly can be to his two children, Gavynn and Madyx.

Disclaimer :  This article is for informational purposes only.  There is no legal advice being suggested or proffered.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon such information.  This article is the opinion of the author and is not supported or endorsed by J.M. Wilson.  It should not be relied upon and may contain inaccuracies or content may have changed over time, contact your underwriter for the most current and accurate information.  Any comments or responses are the opinions of their authors.  Content on this site is believed to be covered under Fair Use.

Copyright 2013 J.M. Wilson Corporation

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