While becoming less common wood stoves remain a popular source of heat in rural and cottage areas. They are a relatively inexpensive source of heat and very reliable as long as they are well maintained. However there are some additional costs to install and insure them.
Although wood stoves are often associated with those cozy nights when it starts to get cold outside they do increase the risk of a fire starting in your home or cottage. Sparks from the fireplace, heat from the chimney, or even from the wood stove itself provide easy sources of ignition which can quickly spread throughout your home. In order to prevent this from happening there are a few precautions to take.
If you are looking to install a wood stove or purchase a home with one you will need to have it inspected by a WETT (Wood Energy Transfer Technician) Technician. This inspection ensures that your wood stove is up to code and safe for everyday use. You should make sure the wood stove is certified (IE CSA, ULC). This is an easy check to do, as there will be a label on the back on the stove indicating it is certified, and the authority who certified it.
Insurance companies typically will charge more for having a wood stove in your home due to the increased risk of fire. The amount varies by company, as some charge a flat fee per a wood stove and some charge a percentage. Every insurance company requires photos of the wood stove, along with a WETT certificate from your technician. A few companies also have a questionnaire for additional information, which your technician should be able to help you complete. Even though it will cost you more you do need to advise your insurance company when you install a wood stove. If you do install one and do not tell the company, they can void your policy and deny your claim.
A few items to keep in mind with wood stoves:
1) When storing wood and ashes they should be kept a safe distance away from the stove in order to prevent sparks from igniting them. Ashes should be stored in a metal container with a lid and emptied regularly. You should also ensure you do not place other combustibles near the wood stove.
2) As wood stoves can get very hot, you should ensure they are not easily accessed by small children or pets. You can purchase a small barrier to place around the wood stove to ensure this is not an issue.
3) Wood stoves should be cleaned at least once a year by a certified chimney technician. These technicians will also advise you if any they see any issues with your chimney so you can have them repaired. If you use your wood stove regularly you may need to have your chimney cleaned more often.
4) If you start to sell excess firewood you are required to inform your insurance company.
If you are looking at purchasing a home with a wood stove or currently have one, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 905-623-4406. Our brokers are more than happy to help you ensure that you have the right insurance for your home.