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How Wood Burners Change Premiums

If you have a wood burning stove or a fireplace in your home, you should know that you could be paying higher insurance rates. Check with your insurer, though, because not all of them will raise your premium. If you do feel like you're paying too much in premiums just because you use wood as a source of heat or for cooking, you may want to shop around to see if another reputable insurance company will give you a lower premium.

Often, your insurance company will just want to see that the wood burning stove or fireplace was installed correctly and that it has been inspected and found to be up to current code. If you meet that criteria, you may not see a change in your premium and you can pay the same rates as someone who uses a different heat and cooking source like gas or electric. If you buy a home that already has a wood burning stove or fireplace installed - and many older homes in the Pacific Northwest and Northeastern United States do have one of both of these features - be sure to have it inspected carefully. Give your insurance company the results of the inspection.

The reasoning is solid behind higher premiums for wood burning appliances like fireplaces. These devices raise the risk of having a fire that could damage your home or even completely destroy it. In order to compensate for that risk, some companies charge a higher premium. Other insurers feel that the risk is very slight if the device passes inspection, so they don't concern themselves with charging you anything extra. Just be sure your insurance company knows about the device. If you fail to tell them and it does cause a fire, you may have a hard time getting your claim paid. An independent insurance agent or broker can help you find the right insurance company for your needs.

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