Guidance on Oil Spill Claims

7 September 2018

Many home and business owners underestimate the potential damage an oil spill can cause to their health and home. Home heating oil, such as Kerosene, if left untreated will damage the structure of the buildings, kill wildlife, leave a lasting toxic vapour and potentially damage your health.

As owners and occupiers of property we all have a legal obligation to prevent pollution or to clean up pollution when it occurs either on our property or migrates into neighbouring properties. Your property could be permanently devalued without a correct validation certification.

At the Irish Claims Authority, we have a respected Insurance Claims Management Team and direct access to highly recommended oil pollution and remediation experts that can analyse the extent of the contamination at your property and provide the necessary reports with detailed findings, recommendations and quotation for the necessary clean up works.


If an oil leak in house is left untreated, oil, diesel or kerosene can have long terms effects on concrete foundations, floors or walls of a property.

Home oil tank leaks can pose a significant risk of contamination to the subsoil, subfloors, and can cause noxious smells which are harmful if left untreated. Furthermore, issues can present dependent on the gradient of the site or your property which can contribute to the migration of the oil leak, for which a home owner can be held liable.

Oil fumes can penetrate carpets and soft furnishings, which may not be possible to salvage. Your insurance policy cover should allow for a full and thorough clean-up, which is completely necessary to prevent further problems that commonly arise with oil leaks.


Breathing fuel oil vapours in an enclosed space like a basement can cause some short-term symptoms. At high concentrations (like those in large spill situations), symptoms can include nausea, dizziness, and eye, nose, or throat irritation.

Getting fuel oil on the skin can cause skin irritation. Some individuals may be more sensitive to these effects than others. Even at low concentrations, the strong odour of fuel oil can still make many people feel ill. Getting to fresh air will usually relieve these symptoms.

Very long-term exposure to fuel oil odours in the home (exposure for many years) has the potential for more serious health problems. These include liver and kidney damage, increased blood pressure, other blood problems, and cancer. A simple “rule of thumb” is if you can smell fuel oil, there is an exposure risk.


If you have suffered an oil spillage and are claiming against your household insurers, it is essential that you know your full entitlements under your policy. Insurers appoint Loss Adjusters to report on the loss. These Adjusters are not independent! They are hired and paid by your insurance companies directly in order to limit and achieve substantial reductions on claims. They are not on your side.

At the Irish Claims Authority we are on your side. We endeavour to see that full recovery is made and that there is no short fall in your cover. We have the expertise to liaise with your insurers to ensure all recoverable losses are included in your claim. We do the hard work for you

We can provide information on how to clean up heating oil spill, how to clean up oil spills on cement or heating oil spill clean-up insurance claims and arrange for a quality contractor to repair the damage.

If you would like to know the cost of oil spill clean-up in your home or property, send an online enquiry to us today or call us.

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