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Fuelling thefts in rural communities

Rural home owners have been urged to protect supplies of heating oil after figures reveal a huge rise in thefts. A leading insurance provider specialising in rural insurance states that they have seen the number of claims for oil theft double and the worst hit area appears to be the East of England.

Costs to deal with the thefts have also soared – partly due to the costs involved in cleaning up the environmental damage caused by thieves. To further compound the problem, thieves often return for a second time to steal replacement oil – adding insult to injury!

The thieves frequently damage oil tanks whilst removing the oil from within. The leaking oil then contaminates the soil and the groundwater, meaning the homeowner may then be liable for any specialist clean-up operations. This is generally a costly undertaking.

Whilst oil prices remain high, rural home owners will remain a target. Where rural properties have no access to mains gas supply, there is little option other than to use oil - to struggle with the rising costs of this and to live with the fear that thefts and potential contamination issues are a very real threat.

Property owners can take certain steps to protect their oil stores. For example, where possible, install fuel tanks within secure buildings or cages made from a material resistant to attack. If this is not possible, try and disguise the tanks with fast growing shrubs and plants such as conifers and Russian Vines. If possible, utilize CCTV and put up signs saying the property is protected by intruder alarms etc.

Should the worst happen, make sure you are properly insured. Talk to Westhill Insurance Services, their specialist knowledge of listed and unusual building, often in rural locations, enables them to offer pragmatic and sensible advice. As an independent insurance company, they will shop around to make sure they find the most comprehensive policy to suit your needs – and your budget. Don't fuel the rise in oil thefts, make sure you have properly insured against theft and the damage this causes. Call Westhill Insurance today and let their specialist knowledge help you.

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 20th January, 2012