If you are working flood claims, damage due to oil in the floodwater will be covered.
I have not worked personal lines in over ten years, so my comments will apply to commercial policies.
Even though crude oil is a naturally occurring substance, it is considered a pollutant for purposes of exclusions and coverages. In some commercial policies, the issue of it being excluded or not may depend on the cause of the dispersal. If it was due to a "specified cause of loss" the exclusion may not apply.
Most coverages for removal of pollutants only cover removal from land or water. If the building is damaged by wind, the presence of the oil may increase the debris removal cost, but will not change the fact that the cause of loss was wind. An issue that may come up with debris removal involving oil contamination is the 25% debris removal limit in ISO policies. That clause normally does not have any affect on overall payment, but if hazardous materials such as asbestos and oil cause increased removal expenses, the debris removal payment could be capped. Also, the debris removal coverage only applies to removal of covered property damaged by a covered cause of loss, so removal of oil by itself would not be included in debris removal.
A significant issue with oil spill claims will be that of business income, which has to be triggered by damage caused by a covered peril which causes suspension of operations. Oil on the beach may cause a loss of income, but that loss will not be covered because it did not cause the hotel or restaurant located on the beach to suspend operations. If oil is involved in a suspension of operations, the business income period of restoration will probably also be extended if special debris removal procedures are required and may exceed policy dollar limits or time limits.
BP is covering oil spill income losses, but it remains to be seen if BP or the federal government will or can assist with hurricane claims involving oil contamination.There is a class being held in the Dallas area dealing with business income losses during this hurricane season, including those involving oil spill issues. See www.essentialclaimstraining.com
Environmental policies are a whole different situation, but most commercial property claims will involve forms like those issued by ISO. I'm watching for EPA and/or OSHA regulations regarding claims handling. The best case scenario will be safety information without regulation. I hate to say this, but if the government gets involved with claims handling,we'll probably see more regulation than valuable information.