When it comes to heating a home for the winter months, more and more people are turning to wood stove installations to supplement their heating costs. While the pros generally outweigh the cons, there are some important things your insurance carrier will ask about before approving coverage.
1. UL approval – acceptable wood stoves will need to carry a UL approved label including important information about the size, make, and model of the unit. A surprising amount of people have homemade style wood stoves installed in their homes. Due to lack of controls on these stoves, they are generally unacceptable and you could find yourself without an approving homeowner’s insurance carrier simply for having the stove in your home. Even if it’s not installed.
2. Questionnaires and photos are a must. Every carrier has a different type of wood stove inspection form. These forms are given to the homeowner to complete and include questions such as type and age of stove, information on how it is connected or passed through the exterior walls, as well as distance from floors and walls. Having a photo on hand also lets your carrier know the physical condition of the unit.
3. Wood stoves are used in many capacities including primary heating of homes, secondary sources used intermittently or for outbuilding or sauna heat. Surprisingly the location of your wood stove could play a part in finding a home insurance carrier. Some carriers have more strict guidelines about where a wood stove is located. For instance, wood stoves used in outbuilding are generally considered more dangerous due to increased lack of attention paid. These are often unacceptable on a standard homeowner’s policy.
When contemplating installing a stove, it is best to check first with your agent to find out the details of your policy. Each carrier reacts differently and this could determine the route you take for installation. When operating your wood stove this winter, remember the rules of fire safety!