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Homeowners insurance coverage and wood stoves

How Wood Stoves Affect Your Home Insurance

Wood stoves offer an affordable and cozy way to heat your home. Woodstoves can add traditional rustic appeal to any home. Millions of Americans still heat their home primarily with wood. However, installing a wood stove in your home may alert your insurance company as it adds certain risks for your house and health. An uncertified wood stove may increase cause your insurance provider to cancel your policy. We will look into the effect of wood stoves on your insurance policy in this article.

Wood Stove Certification

In order to make sure that your wood stove is safe to use for the home and insurable, it needs to be installed and inspected by a WETT-Certified Technician. When a wood stove passes the certification tests, it is easier to get the home insured. The certification is necessary to guarantee that the wood stove is installed safely and it can operate with high efficiency.

It is important that the wood stove is able to meet the standard code to prevent issues on ventilation. It is also vital to check the minimum clearance on all sides to prevent the breakout of fire. Without this inspection, wood stoves may be able to cause fire due to overheating of combustible materials. Alternatively, one can also install a commercial shield or an air-cooled radiation shield.

Other homeowners opt to install a wood stove for themselves. This seems to be a cheaper option, but it is important to be able to follow the requirements that need to be met for the installation of the wood stove. Even if the installation of the wood stove is DIY, it is essential to get a professional inspection for the wood stove in your home. This will help prevent any issues with your insurance provider.

Wood Stove Risks and Dangers

  • Increase Chance of Fire – This seems to be an obvious risk that is faced by most homes with an installed wood stove. There is a chance that the wood stove might overheat and burn any combustible materials in the vicinity, which can then lead to a fire.
  • Health Risks – Constant and frequent exposure can lead to several health risks. There are people that carry a higher risk, especially if they aren’t in the best of health. People with chronic illnesses or heart or lung diseases carry a higher risk of developing sicknesses related to smoke. Moreover, children and elders are also prone to contracting illnesses since their lungs are weaker.
  • Air Pollution – Since wood stoves produce toxic gases, they are releasing pollutants into the air. Exposure to air pollution may weaken one’s lungs and heart. Moreover, it may also cause chronic illnesses over the long run. There are also some short-term effects to the frequent exposure to wood stove smokes like asthma attacks, carbon monoxide poisoning, and acute bronchitis.

Wood Stove Safety

As we have discussed earlier, it is important to have a WETT-Certification tag for your wood stove. This is because certified wood stoves are safe to use and can minimize the risks posed by the mere presence of wood stoves in your home. Apart from this, it is important to follow the requirements regarding the installation of wood stoves in your home. You can also use heat shields to add a layer of safety.

This is why it is vital to check the certification for the wood stove when you move into a new home. On the other hand, if you plan to install a new wood stove in your home, you should get a WETT Certificate and a Solid Fuel Heating Questionnaire.

Wood Stoves Lead to Higher Insurance Premiums

If your home has a wood stove, the premium for your homeowners insurance policy will surely increase as the risk for fire has also increased. However, the premium can also be affected by the age of the wood stove and the corresponding certification.  On the contrary, the premium may also be reduced by adding safety measures around the wood stoves. Homeowners should also provide more attention to the regular inspection done for the wood stoves to minimize the risks involved.

Wood stoves may increase your insurance cost. However, you can still find an affordable and reliable policy with the right insurance company. Discuss additional options with your insurance agent to find better alternatives.

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