Why wood burners change a premium

Impact on Your InsuranceIf 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.


Why Wood Burners Change A Premium

Effect Your Premium RatesPeople love to sit around a fireplace and watch the fire as it slowly goes out. Many times families will play games or watch a movie in the glow of the fire. Fireplaces do not concern an insurance company as much as a wood burner does. A fireplace is usually set into the wall and the fire is usually sectioned off from the rest of the house. A wood burning stove is freestanding in a room, and the fire is contained within the housing of the burner.

A freestanding wood burning stove has more potential to cause a fire than does a fireplace because it has more opportunity to be disrupted and has a greater chance of a spark reaching the floor to cause fire. Some insurance companies will not even insure a home with this kind of heating device. If they do there is usually a higher charge for the added risk of fire.

Insurance companies that insure wood burning stoves will often have requirements of how the stove is to be installed and maintained on a year-to-year basis. Most of the time, the stove has to be installed by a contractor who specializes in wood burner installation. The certification and yearly inspection form then has to be sent into the insurance company to keep the policy from being canceled. The insurance company will tack on a surcharge to the premium for the added risk. So a home without a wood burning stove will usually be cheaper to insure than a home with a wood burning stove.