Tank Installer's Indemnification Program




 
 
HISTORY
 
Provisions in Act 13 made it mandatory for all certified tank installers to participate in the Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Fund. This was passed into law on February 1, 1998 and the regulations became effective January 1, 2002. 
 
The Tank Installers' Indemnification Program (TIIP) will give certified tank installers the same liability coverage as the tank owners.  TIIP will indemnify certified companies/installers against any claims made as a result of alleged negligent work done on an underground storage tank up to $1,500,000. 
 
Claim settlements will be made on behalf of eligible certified tank installers, subject to a $5,000 deductible.
 
Claims will be processed in the same manner as in the Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Fund.  To report a claim, a certified tank installer/company should call (717) 787-0763 or (800) 595-9887 (in PA) or e-mail: ra-ustif@pa.gov.  Claims must be reported within 60 days after knowledge of a potential claim or coverage will be denied.
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
 

 
What is the purpose of the Tank Installers' Indemnification Program (TIIP)? 
 
The purpose of TIIP is to provide liability coverage for certified companies and certified tank installers who are registered with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  In the event a negligent tank handling activity results in a release, the Fund will indemnify and pay all damages up to $1,500,000 on behalf of the certified company/installer.
 
Why was TIIP created? 
 
The TIIP was created after discussions with a stakeholders group during the summer of 1996. At that time, these stakeholders recommended that certified tank installers receive coverage under the USTIF for losses resulting from releases that were caused by their activities. Currently all releases from regulated underground storage tanks are covered by the Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Fund (USTIF). The Fund in turn takes action to collect from the tank installers when negligent activity caused the release.
 
Who administers the TIIP? 
 
The TIIP Program is administered by the Department of Insurance, through the Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Fund. The USTIF can be reached at the following mailing address, phone number and e-mail address:
Tank Installers' Indemnification Program
901 North 7th Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102-1414
(717) 787-0763 or (800) 595-9887 (PA only)
E-mail:
ra-ustif@pa.gov
What are the fees? 
 
The Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Board is responsible for establishing fees to be charged to certified tank installer companies for the TIIP. The activity fees are calculated by activities reported to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  The fees are identified below:
Certified Company fee: $1,000 annually

Activity fee: (For each tank system activity performed).  
 
         Tank Removals $15 per tank & piping
         Major Modifications $50 per tank & piping
         Tank Installations $50 per tank & piping
 
 
 
How were the fees determined? 
 
The law that creates the TIIP requires the Board to perform an actuarial review to estimate the total liabilities that they will incur for the TIIP.  Based on this study, the Board recommended fees to finance these liabilities to ensure that the TIIP can respond to releases caused by certified tank installers under this program.
 
How will the fees be collected? 
 
The TIIP Collections Unit within the Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Fund will collect the fees.  The company fee and activity fees will be billed directly to the certified company based upon information maintained by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  The certified companies will be allowed to pay the certified company fee in monthly installments or in full, whichever they choose.  Activity fees are to be paid in full the month the company is invoiced. 
 
How do I make a claim to the TIIP?
 
To file a claim, the certified tank installer must contact the Claims Unit after being put on notice of a potential claim by calling (717) 787-0763 or (800) 595-9887 (in PA) or e-mail: 
ra-ustif@pa.gov.  Claims must be reported within 60 days after knowledge of a potential claim or coverage will be denied.
 
When is a certified tank installer eligible? 
 
To be eligible for claim benefits, you must meet the following requirements:  
  • The claimant is a certified tank installer who is employed by a certified company and performed the work that gave rise to a claim for a certified company.
  • The Fund's fees are paid.
  • The tank is registered with Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) unless it is a heating oil tank that opted in to the program.
  • The certified tank installer has obtained permits, if required.
  • The facts indicate that a tank installer was negligent in some tank handling activity resulting in a release after the effective date of the coverage.
  • Claims must be reported within 60 days after knowledge of a potential claim or coverage will be denied.
What coverage do I receive under TIIP?
 
The TIIP is a liability program to protect certified companies in the event that their activity caused a release from a regulated underground storage tank or qualified heating oil tank. The TIIP will respond by paying all claims resulting from this release and defend all suits resulting from this release.
 
What are the coverage limits? 
 
The TIIP provides up to $1,500,000 per tank per occurrence for third party liability as a result of a release from a regulated underground storage tank or qualified heating oil tank.
 
When will coverage start? 
 
TIIP coverage is effective on or after January 1, 2002, subject to the eligibility requirements.
 
What is the deductible for this Program? 
 
$5,000 per tank per occurrence.  
 
How does this impact my commercial insurance? 
 
The TIIP will be primary to all other coverage's that a certified tank installer may maintain. As a result, certified tank installers and certified companies should inquire from their insurance companies if they can receive any premium discounts since the TIIP will be primary.
 
If I have private insurance, do I need to participate in TIIP? 
 
Under Act 13 of 1998, the TIIP is a mandatory program for all certified companies as determined by DEP who perform any major modifications, installations or removals of regulated underground storage tanks.
 
If the tanks are covered, why do I have to be covered? 
 
The USTIF Program provides owners and operators of regulated underground storage tanks proof of financial responsibility in the event that their tanks would leak into the environment. If a tank owner's release was the result of another person's negligence the Fund would seek recovery from that responsible party.  The TIIP will provide liability coverage in the event a certified tank installer was negligent in their tank handling activities.
 
Does coverage include work I do outside of PA?
 
No.  The TIIP only covers regulated tanks located and registered within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and those qualified heating oil tanks.
 
Does coverage include work done on unregulated tanks? 
 
No, except for work done on qualified heating oil tanks.
 
As a certified tank installer, I have been participating in the TIIP Program since its inception in 2002.  If I give up my certification because I no longer do tank installations I will not be paying fees into the Program.  If a claim is made against me for work I previously did while I was participating in the Program, will I be covered by TIIP?
 
35 P.S. 6021.706 sets forth the eligibility requirements for owners, operators and, as of January 30, 1998 certified tank installers.  The statute provides: 
 
    In order to receive payment from the Fund, a claimant shall meet the following eligibility requirements:   
  1. The claimant is the owner, operator or certified tank installer of the tank which is the subject of the claim.
  2. The current fee required under 705 has been paid.
  3. The tank has been registered in accordance with the requirements of section 503.
  4. The owner, operator or certified tank installer has obtained the appropriate permit or certification as required under sections 108, 501 and 504.
  5. The claimant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the board that the release that is the subject of the claim occurred after the date established by the board for payment of the fee required by section 705(d).
  6. Additional eligibility requirements which the board may adopt by regulation.
In accordance with these eligibility requirements, the certified tank installer would have TIIP coverage in this situation provided he has paid all fees that had been assessed.
 
Does the TIIP coverage pertain to damages caused through negligence of the installer while working on a heating oil tank not required to be registered with DEP or not opted into the USTIF program? 
 
In order for the TIIP coverage to apply, the heating oil tank must either be registered with DEP or participated in the opt-in program with USTIF.  There are approximately 1,600 tanks or 80% of the population participating in the program.  If there is any doubt that the tank has opted into the program, you may call USTIF before beginning any work to confirm the status of USTIF coverage on the tank.