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HELP with homeowners insurance - please

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by BobUrban, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Central Michigan
    I am running a Olympic Crest stove that is a Vermont Casting Defiant knock off. Unfortunately there is not plate or indication onthe stove that says it is UL approved. I had my agent come to the house and take photos, measurments, etc.. and all was good but his underwriter is saying that if I do not get UL approval they will drop me.

    What does UL approved actually mean? Is the UL approvable? Anyone know where I can find that information?

    If none of the above is available what are those of you in similar situations doing? Do you have any recomendations for insurance?

    I am in Michigan and currently am insured with Farm Bureau if that helps.

    Thank you for any help

    Bob

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  2. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2010
    Messages:
    1,479
    Loc:
    Central Michigan
    I am running a Olympic Crest stove that is a Vermont Casting Defiant knock off. Unfortunately there is not plate or indication onthe stove that says it is UL approved. I had my agent come to the house and take photos, measurments, etc.. and all was good but his underwriter is saying that if I do not get UL approval they will drop me.

    What does UL approved actually mean? Is the UL approvable? Anyone know where I can find that information?

    If none of the above is available what are those of you in similar situations doing? Do you have any recomendations for insurance?

    I am in Michigan and currently am insured with Farm Bureau if that helps.

    Thank you for any help

    Bob

    I have also posted this in the classic stove forum but was hoping to get help from anyone who has input because this is obviously important in a timely fashion.

    My online research is turning up very little regarding Olympic Crest stoves and is actually where I found this website after I received the stove.
  3. SIERRADMAX

    SIERRADMAX Feeling the Heat

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  4. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Does the 18" include the back wall if there is 16" to the combustibles(drywall) with a solid brick hearth, cement board and 1" air space gap in between?

    This is so frustrating because the stove was professionally installed
  5. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    I believe if you can prove that your installation meets ALL the requirements of NFPA 211,
    you should be good to go. You may have to get the local fire code inspector, i.e, the
    Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) out to your home to verify those requirements....
  6. SIERRADMAX

    SIERRADMAX Feeling the Heat

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    If it was professionally installed, did they pull a permit?
  7. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Good question but I can contact them. I am sure they did because they are the go-to contractor around here and have been in business for many successful years. Not a "where are they now" outfit.

    Reading up on the NFPA 211 I am overboard on required install limits so I think I will be OK but need to get the catalog I guess and show it to my agent.
  8. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Any insurance company suggestions? I am being told that it needs to be UL certified. I do not think I can get this for my pre-EPA stove?

    Any help at all.
  9. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    This is not correct. The 18" reference has to do with floor protection extending out from all sides. NFPA 211 states that for an unlisted solid fuel-burning appliance, the minimum clearance to combustibles (walls, etc.) is 36" from all sides. This can be reduced by 66%, or down to 12" by the use of appropriately constructed wall protection...which it sounds as if you may have, as you mentioned a non-combustible sheet installed with a 1" air gap. Furthermore, NFPA 211 is a "standard", not a "code". It is published and maintained by an industry group, and is not a government publication. Many, but not all, localities have adopted the recommendations in NFPA 211 into their codes. The only way to know for sure what's required where you live is to contact the local authority having jurisdiction. In any case, to address another of the OP's questions, UL approval means that the appliance has been tested for safety by an independent, not for profit organization, Underwriters Laboratory, which has pretty much become the gold standard of safety certification for darn near everything since late in the 19th century. If your appliance did not receive UL approval when it was readied for market to the public, you ain't gonna get it now. Rick

    ETA: Also, realize that UL approval and EPA certification are two entirely different things.
  10. kettensäge

    kettensäge Feeling the Heat

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    Look for a different ins. co. I have a pre epa insert, no sticker. First company didn't care and wrote the policy (nationwide).
    Dropped them for Penn National 7 yrs later, (saved tons of money with better coverage). All they wanted was a signed questionaire about manufacturer, clearances, and chimney type, and 2 pictures, and I got the policy.

    My closest clearance to regular drywall is about 20"

    The threat of dropping them may get their attention.
  11. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    Bob, Here's how Underwriter Laboratory comes up with safe distances from combustibles when they test a product;

    A clearance is the safe distance from the stove to a combustible surface. Examples of combustible materials include paneling, wood, sheet rock (even fire rated), and plaster (lath). Safe clearances for your model were determined using a very specific and detailed U.L. protocol test procedure. The stove was placed into a wooden booth where the walls are on tracks allowing them to move back and forth. Heat sensing thermocouples are attached to the walls in specific locations. These thermocouples relay temperatures to a computer, which tracks temperatures during the test. As the stove operates, temperatures are tracked. The stove is fired as hot as possible using oven dried softwood strips which are stapled together to create a “firebrand†which burns much hotter and faster than cord wood.

    The benchmark temperature, which determines safe clearances, is typically 115 degrees F over the ambient room temperature. In other words, if the ambient room temperature is 70F, the benchmark wall temperature cannot exceed 185F. If temperatures exceed 185F, the stove must be located further away from the wall. That is why movable walls on tracks are used. If the temperatures exceed 185F, the walls are moved back until the temperatures recorded are less than 185F. In a nutshell, the stove is run through the complete test, the temperatures are recorded, and safe clearances are established.

    More from the same page can be found here;
    http://hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/stove_wall_clear

    Unlisted means it was not tested, and distances are given in NFPA 211 for unlisted stoves. Distance from a combustible to a single wall pipe is 18", and can be reduced using double wall pipe, or shields. This is all specified in 211 and local codes.
  12. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Thanks everyone - you are all so helpful. I looked into the NFPA 211 manual that you linked and my stove is more than fine on all sides. I also have a temp probe that is used for cooking in my offset hog cooker. I dropped the probe behind the mantle in the dead air space and cannot get it above 85 degrees. It would get a little hotter before I installed a heat shield on the back of the stove but now the bricks barely get hot.

    I did contact my chimney contractor who installed all the pipe and helped me install the stove and he gave me ideas for insurance companies so I will shop it. My agent has been great and I have been with them for 12 years but I cannot go w/o insurance so if he cannot convince the underwriters to do the right thing I will move on. My stove pipe is double wall and even when the stove is cranking you can put your hand on it for a bit. It is hot but not dangerous. The chimney is all triple wall stainless and 2" rated.

    Ironically I sell property insurance(specifically to churches) and have understanding of underwriter whoh's but I also know you can get approval under circumstances that warrant it.

    Keep the info and insurance options coming - I appreciate the help

    Bob Urban

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