Storage Tank Liability Insurance: Cost & Quotes From $60/mo

There are over 500,000 underground storage tanks in the US that store hazardous substances. Most are used for commercial purposes by livestock farms, gas stations, or hotels. 

These tanks have the potential to seep into groundwater, which is the drinking source for half of all Americans. The health consequences of both above-ground and underground storage tanks leaking can cause dire consequences to the environment and human health.

If you own farm, a gasoline station, or any other business needing a storage tank, storage tank liability insurance is a crucial tool to ensure you are protected from the costs and liabilities of any release. This insurance also plays a vital role in incentivizing safety standards and helping clean any unfortunate cleanups.

This article will explain all the basics you need to know about storage tank liability insurance, including:

  • Why you need storage tank liability insurance

  • What perils are covered

  • Who the policy is for

  • The cost of coverage

  • Best companies for storage tank liability insurance 


Need to Install a Tank? Beware, Coverage Might be Required

If you are a business owner who is installing a storage tank, you will want to be familiar with the legal requirements that different states have regarding coverage. A few examples include the following:

  • Alaska: Alaska requires a form of financial backing to cover expenses due to cleanup or leaking underground storage tanks (UST). Tank owners are required to show proof of financial responsibility to the government annually. You need $1 million per occurrence coverage and $2 million aggregate coverage.

  • Indiana: In Indiana, the Department of Environmental Management requires that an owner or operator of a UST must provide $1 million in financial assurance. This number increases to $2 million for owners with more than 100 USTs

  • Montana: Owners of USTs in Montana must have some form of financial responsibility to cover clean-ups and third-party damages. Non-marketers with less than 10,000 gallons per month only need $500,000 of coverage, while standard owners will need between $1 million and $2 million in protection.

  • Kansas: Kansas has the Storage Tank Act, which creates two trust funds to cover petroleum aboveground and underground storage tanks. These trust funds are funded by a $0.01 fee on all petroleum in the state.

  • Iowa: The Iowa Department of Natural Resources requires a certificate of insurance to demonstrate the financial responsibility requirement. Iowa requires per-occurrence coverage and aggregate coverage between $500,000 and $2 million.

The EPA requires that all UST owners pay for the cleaning and compensation costs of any leak incident. To best comply with this financial requirement, storage tank liability insurance. In the next section, we will explain what storage tank liability insurance is.


How Long Do Storage Tanks Last?

Storage tanks will last between 20-30 years on average, depending on the material used to make them and how solid their construction is. Plastic storage tanks, like water tanks, will last 20 years, while metal tanks can last over 30 years.

Perils Covered in a Storage Tank Liability Policy

Generally, storage tank liability insurance covers a few different types of perils or incidents, including:

  • First and Third-party bodily injury from pollution incidents

  • First and Third-party property damage from pollution incidents

  • Cleanup costs at the tank operator’s facility

Different policies will vary, but the coverage limit generally covers up to $5 million in coverage. Generally, the legal and financial requirement is $1 million per occurrence coverage as well as aggregate coverage.


Storage tank liability insurance protects businesses from the liabilities that storage tank pollutants can cause.


Which Are the Target Business Lines for Storage Tank Liability Insurance?

A few different kinds of businesses will typically have a need for storage tank liability insurance.

Farms Livestock farms will often need storage tank pollution insurance to cover any pollution incidents from farm chemicals they are storing.
Breweries Breweries will typically store their product in large storage tanks. A storage tank pollution liability insurance policy ensures they are covered for any spills or storage tank leaks.
Gas Stations Gas stations must store petroleum in underground storage tanks to service customers. Underground storage tank liability insurance is essential to ensure that the business is able to handle the costs of spills, injury, and property.
Schools Schools sometimes use water tanks to harvest clean drinking water for the community. These water tanks are typically stored above ground. Some schools also use storage tanks to store diesel gasoline for a school bus fleet.

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Other Requirements to Comply with Aside from Getting Storage Tank Liability Insurance

Besides getting financial responsibility through storage tank liability insurance, there exist other requirements that people must follow when installing a storage tank. Additional requirements are set by government agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).


What Are the OSHA requirements for storage tanks?

OSHA requirements regulate the health and safety conditions of workplaces. Some OSHA requirements that you will need to follow include:

  • Storage containers cannot exceed 1,100 gallons in any pile or area

  • 12-foot wide access is permitted to approach fire control apparatuses

  • Any storage area needs to be graded to divert possible spills away from buildings and accumulations of rainwater

  • Storage areas are required to be free of weeds, debris, and combustible material

  • Portable tanks cannot exceed 660 gallons

  • One portable fire extinguisher required not more than 10 feet from any flammable liquid storage units

What Are the SPCC Requirements for Storage Tanks?

The SPCC is the spill, prevention, control, and countermeasure rule put forth by the EPA that regulates storage tank facilities so that they are not hazardous to the area they are in. Some of these requirements include the following:

  • All aboveground bulk storage tanks need to undergo integrity testing

  • Keep track of whenever you make material repairs

  • Submit to visual inspections designed to detect hidden leaks or spills

  • Tanks must be taken out of service for several hours during an integrity test

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How Much Does Storage Tank Liability Insurance Cost

Storage tank liability insurance can cost as low as $29 per month with the right conditions on your policy. Below is a price breakdown of different policies that popular companies sell:

Cost per Month Cost per Year Best For
Chubb $29 $348 Starting price
Liberty Mutual $41 $492 Add-ons
American Insurance $60 $720 Expertise

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Best Storage Tank Liability Insurance Companies

The best storage tank liability companies can be found below. Take a look at the advantages they offer over one another. Read some of the reviews below to know their pros, cons, and rate for a storage tank liability policy. 


American Insurance

Pros

  • Expertise in the area

  • Addons for transportation and waste disposal

  • Mobile app

Cons

  • Only available for Utah businesses

American Insurance is a longstanding insurance company founded in the 1950s. They earned have earned the Assurex Global E&O in Utah award each year since 2005. The company boasts a 94% commercial client retention.

Their storage tank liability insurance has various limit options, up to $5 million in coverage for third-party liability and property damage. They also include costs for corrective action and cleanup efforts that a government agency requires.

Best for: Expertise

Average cost: $60 per month 

Our rating: 10/10


Liberty Mutual Storage Tank Liability Insurance

Pros

  • Expertise in the Area

  • Addons for transportation and waste disposal

  • Mobile app

Cons

  • Not every state has a physical office

Liberty Mutual has an A (Excellent) rating from AM Best for its financial strength. They offer increased control of your claims thanks to the expertise of their environmental risks team. This allows you to resolve any potential pollution risks quickly and resolve your claims.

Their policy covers discovery correction action, clean-up costs, as well as bodily injury and property. They also have optional transportation and waste disposal add-ons that can save you on time and money.

Best for: Addons

Average Cost: $41 per month

Our rating: 10/10

Chubb Storage Tank Liability Insurance

Pros

  • Online application process

  • Instant policy certificate

Cons

  • Fewer coverage options

Chubb has one of the lowest $350 minimum storage tank liability policies. The company reported $52 billion in gross written premiums in 2022 and has an A++ from AM Best. They have been offering storage tank insurance for over 15 years.

The Chubb policy is called Tanksafe, and it does what it says, keeping your storage tank safe and covering injury and property liabilities. Policy limits start at $500,000 but go up to $5 million. They are restricted from covering any underground storage tanks that were installed more than 30 years ago due to their web-based process system.

Best for: Starting price

Average Cost: $29/mo

Our rating: 10/10

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