Many homes across Canada use oil tanks as a source of heat, although oil tanks are more common in Eastern Canada. Oil tanks can be installed above ground or below ground.
Oil tanks can rust, deteriorate, and leak oil resulting in an environmental cleanup that can amount to thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Most spills have occurred from oil tanks that are 15 years of age or older. An insurance company may insure oil tanks that are less than 25 years old provided the tank has been inspected by a Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) inspector. If your oil tank is more than 25 years old, an insurance company may require you to replace it with a gas or electrical furnace before they will provide you with homeowners insurance coverage.
If you are considering purchasing an older home, you should consult your insurance broker to see what kind upgrades may be required before obtaining homeowners insurance coverage. You will be able to factor the upgrades into your offer price and you will avoid any unpleasant surprises later on.