If you own a home and have a wood burning stove or burn wood in a fireplace, you might be surprised to know that your insurance company may be charging you a higher premium on your homeowners insurance policy. Not every insurance company will charge you higher premiums for a home that burns wood for heat or cooking, so you will have to check with your insurer to see what their policy is.
The logic behind charging you a higher premium because you choose to use wood as a source of heat or for cooking is that it increases the risk of a fire that could damage or destroy your house.
If you do decide to convert to a wood-burning system, you should contact your insurance company and notify them of the change. Depending on the company, they may or may not change your premium.
Many insurance companies will only require you to provide proof that the wood burner was installed properly, received an inspection and was certified as being up to code. They will not automatically raise your rates.
Even if they do raise your rates by $50 or $100 to keep your coverage in the same amount, the money you save by using wood as a fuel source instead of electricity or gas will normally more than offset the bump up in your homeowners insurance premium.
Having a licensed professional contractor install your wood burning unit is the safest way to go. Insurance companies may be suspicious of any do-it-yourself installations and closely scrutinize the installation and safe operation of your new heat source.