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Boston Globe Endorses LSPA's Legislation

After a flurry of media attention kicked off by this article, the Boston Globe published an editorial on February 26, 2022 in support of the LSPA's bill Senate #676, An Act relative to the remediation of home heating oil releases.  Many thanks to the Globe for pointing out that the bill "would secure the protection Massachusetts homeowners deserve — requiring insurers to provide oil leak coverage."  And the editorial closed with a message for legislators:  "Catastrophic expenses can be, well, catastrophic. And if lawmakers can easily prevent them, they should."  The bill is now being considered by the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

LSPA Testimony on S. 676 Home Heating Oil Insurance

Led by Susan Crane (Attorney) and Kevin Beaulieu (LSP), the LSPA assembled a team to testify before the MA Legislature’s Joint Committee on Financial Services on October 20, 2021, in support of Senate Bill 676, An Act relative to the remediation of home heating oil releases.  Three homeowners recently impacted by spills, and shocked to learn the releases were not covered by their homeowners insurance, shared their unfortunate experiences.  An insurance industry spokesperson was the only person to testify against the bill. 

The LSPA was pleased that legislators had many follow-up questions that (we thought) showed their interest in pushing insurance companies to take a more active interest in addressing this issue.

To view the relevant portion of the hearing, click here – LSPA testimony begins at 16:25 and runs until 41.20. The testimony of the MA Insurance Federation representative on S. 676 runs from 42:25 to 45:40.  Q&A from legislators runs from 52:10 to 58:30.

The LSPA will continue to monitor progress on the bill, and pursue options for more visibility on the issue.


Are You Currently Working on a Home Heating Oil Release?

Do you have a client with a residential heating oil spill? As upsetting and difficult as that can be under "normal" circumstances, it has surely been more complicated under the current restrictions.

The LSPA's bill S. 594, which would require insurance companies to provide first- and third-party coverage for home heating oil releases, has successfully moved out of the legislature's Joint Committee on Financial Services and is now with the Senate Ways & Means Committee. The LSPA is preparing to update key legislators on the need for this insurance; it is our understanding that the state senate is hoping to meet again next month.

Please contact our Executive Director Wendy Rundle at [email protected] if you or your client is interested in sharing information with the LSPA about a recent residential heating oil release. Our ability to provide actual examples, even anonymously, has proven to be most persuasive with legislators.


Home Heating Oil Insurance Bill Receives Favorable Report from Legislature

In early February 2020, the LSPA-sponsored Senate Bill 594 received a favorable report from the MA Legislature's Joint Committee on Financial Services. The bill was sent to the Senate Clerk shortly thereafter where it is likely to be referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Many thanks to Committee Chairs Senator James Welch (D-Hampden) and Representative James Murphy (D-Weymouth) for their support.

The bill's progress has been supported by the LSPA's Legislative Committee and the special efforts of LSPA members Attorney Susan Crane and LSP Kevin Beaulieu. They, along with two homeowners and LSPA Executive Director Wendy Rundle, testified at the bill's hearing in September 2019. 

It is the aim of the LSPA in developing S. 594 to correct the significant omission in the current law so that it accomplishes the objectives for which it was designed, which is to mandate that insurance coverage be provided for all Massachusetts households that use fuel oil. Read the LSPA's written testimony here.

Above: S. Crane, K. Beaulieu, W. Rundle after testifying in support of S 594.

Should Insurance Protect Homeowners From Financially Devastating Heating Oil Spills?

Many thanks to Ryan Kath of NBCBoston for another installment, which aired last night, on LSPA efforts to require insurers to cover the costs of remediating home heating oil spills and leaks.

The LSPA Legislative Committee is appreciative of Senator Anne Gobi's sponsorship of S. 594

Don't Assume Your Insurance Will Cover A Home Heating Oil Spill

Ryan Kath and NBC 10 have aired a 3rd installment in their series on residential heating oil spills, and this time it's a bit of good news for one Massachusetts homeowner.  MassDEP has stepped in to assist with sampling and assessment at a property previously highlighted.

This story continues to drive home the point that in order to be protected from serious financial impacts, homeowners who use oil heat must proactively contact their insurance broker to request coverage.  Most homeowners assume they are covered, when in fact most are not.

Watch the story here.    

The LSP Association (LSPA) is sponsoring legislation to address this problem.  Senate bill 594 would require insurance companies to automatically provide this coverage.  Read more here and here to learn how the LSPA's legislation will close a loophole.

For more information contact Wendy Rundle, LSPA Executive Director, [email protected].


Watch for Falling Snow: Adventures of Brad Cousineau, Environmental Scientist, SAGE Environmental

What a difference a few weeks can make.   As we write, the sun is shining and the once looming snow banks are quickly turning to puddles.  Just a few weeks ago it was a much different picture.  

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New Good Samaritan Law Protects LSPs

By: Wendy Rundle, LSPA Executive Director 

Starting on January 1, 2015, LSPs will have liability protection when they provide voluntary services to emergency and public safety agencies during a natural catastrophe or disaster, at the request of or with the approval of an appropriate federal, state or local official. 

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