Archive for December, 2013

Heating Oil Pollution Liability Insurance Program

Here is some information about a program you may want to take advantage of, the Heating Oil Pollution Liability Insurance Program.  I am not endorsing the program, just letting you know what is available for Oil tank owners.

 Why It Was Created

To make pollution liability coverage available for owners of heating oil tanks because:

1.  Owners are responsible for cleanup of contamination if their tank leaks.

2.  Pollution coverage is often not available from private insurance companies.

 How It Is Funded

The program is funded by a fee that heating oil dealers pay per gallon of heating oil sold. Heating oil is defined as diesel, kerosene or stove oil.

 What Is Covered

Up to $60,000 to cleanup contamination, not covered by other insurance, on your property and/or a neighboring property.

1.  The contamination must come from a leak that starts after a heating oil tank is registered with us.

2.  The tank may be underground, aboveground, or in a basement.

3,  The tank must be registered in the current owner’s name.

 Reimbursement up to $1500 to repair damages on neighboring property (third party coverage) such as landscaping, flooring, painting, etc.

 What Is Not Covered

1.  Leaks from abandoned or decommissioned tanks, or other sources.

2.  Leaks that start before registering with PLIA.

3.  Property restoration on your property (first party coverage).

4.  Removal/repair/replacement of the tank/lines/furnace (this does not include reimbursement of new tank replacement costs according to RCW 70.149.120).

5.  Emergency heat restoration.

6.  Heating oil lost in the release.

 How To Apply For Insurance

There is no cost to you to register.

1.  You must complete and submit to PLIA the registration form (please read instructions)

2.  You are registered when PLIA receives your completed registration form.

3.  You must be registered with PLIA prior to the start of any accidental release in order for the cleanup to be covered.

 When PLIA receives your completed registration form, you will be mailed a confirmation. If you do not receive a confirmation within 14 days please contact PLIA at 1-800-822-3905 or (360) 407-0520.

 How Claims Are Filed

If you suspect a release from your registered heating oil tank, you must contact PLIA at 1-800-822-3905 or (360) 407-0520 to file a claim.

1.  You have 30 calendar days from the date the tank is disconnected from the furnace to file a claim.

2.  PLIA will investigate the claim, which may include taking photos of your property and the failed tank.

3.  You will hire an approved contractor to do the cleanup.

4.  All work must be approved by PLIA before the work starts.

 Real Estate Transactions

If a registered owner sells the property, or transfers ownership in any way, the coverage under the Heating Oil Pollution Liability Insurance Program ENDS.

1.  To avoid any lapse in coverage, the new owner of the property must register within 180 days from the date of the property transfer.

2.  Homeowners may register at any time, however the effective date of the coverage will begin on the date we receive the registration form if more than 180 days has passed from the date ownership changed.

Policy, Statute, and Rules

The Colony Insurance Company provides the pollution liability insurance policy (Acrobat Reader required to view) for coverage of the Heating Oil Pollution Liability Insurance Program.

The Heating Oil Pollution Liability Insurance Program is also governed by the Revised Code of Washington – Chapter 70.149 RCW and the Washington Administrative Code – Chapter 374-70 WAC.

For more information, please visit:  http://www.plia.wa.gov/heating/insurance.htm

Recycle Your Holiday Lights

Holiday Lights

Light bulbs cannot be recycled in Seattle’s recycling carts – but don’t throw out your burned-out holiday lights – recycle them! Holiday light recycling programs take your old light strands and recycle the copper wire inside them.

King County offers a list of nearby locations where you can recycle your holiday lights for free:

Other businesses and organizations may also offer holiday light recycling programs. When shopping for new holiday lights at retailers, ask if they have a program.

Thanks for recycling your holiday lights!

For More “At Your Service” articles like this, please visit Seattle Public Utilities at:

http://atyourservice.seattle.gov/

Lessen the Stress from Your Tech

Smartphones and tablets give us access to the latest news and get real time responses via email and text.  However, the increased connectivity has become a source of stress for many people.  Here are four ways to minimize your gadget stress and still enjoy technology:

Problem 1:  Smartphones and tablets are leading to more diagnosis of arthritis, and tendonitis, usually of the elbows, thumbs and neck1.

Solution 1:  To ease the pain, make sure to hold your phone at chest level, and always use a stand with your tablet.

Problem 2:  The LED light on your phone tablet or computer may interfere with your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone vital to good sleep.

Solution 2:   Unplug from your devices before bedtime.  You can also install apps to adjust the brightness of your device based on the time of day. F.lux (iPhone, iPad) or Lux (for Android) are 2 such apps.

Problem 3:  Juggling multiple applications on our smartphones, laptops and tablets may seem like multitasking but in reality make us less productive when offline.  Also, it has been shown to put your heart on high alert causing increased stress and higher rates of cortisol.2

Solution3 : Set an hour or two aside each day to turn it all off.  Decompress by taking a walk, spending time with friend and family, or enjoying non-electronic activities.

Problem 4: Paying more attention to the smartphone than the road has serious consequences.  Texting while driving creates a crash risk 23 times greater than non-distracted driving.  In real terms, this averts the driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, equal to driving the length of a football field blind at 55mph.3

Solution 4: Put the phone away.  No message is important enough to cause an accident. 

 

References

1. Health, June 2013

2.UC Irvine

3. http://www.Distraction.gov