homeowners insurance

rmcfall Posted By rmcfall, Feb 20, 2006 at 5:27 PM

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  1. rmcfall

    rmcfall
    Feeling the Heat 2.
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    Nov 28, 2005
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    What insurance companies are you all using that allow the use of a woodstove, and do you find that your rates have gone up much because of having a woodstove?

    I am curious because I just started a policy with Allstate for our new house and I was asked whether there was a freestanding woodstove. I was able to answer NO because there isn't one presently, but asked what would happen if I were to install one. I was told that they only deny coverage if a freestanding (not insert, but freestanding) stove is present at the start of the policy. I also asked if Allstate would pay out on the home if the house were burned down by a woodstove installed after the policy had begun. I was told that the house would still be covered, as it would be difficult to prove the fire was the result of a woodstove.

    So anyway, this got me wondering what insurance companies do allow woodstoves? I have really enjoyed working with Allstate as they are very friendly and have a quick response time, but this issue with woodstoves scares me....
     
  2. Rob From Wisconsin

    Rob From Wisconsin
    Minister of Fire 2.
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    Nov 20, 2005
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    Loc:
    East-Central Wisconsin
    We have two (2) stoves in our house, and our insurance is through
    American Family Insurance. Prior to installing the stoves, I contacted
    our carrier & they provided me a very detailed document of stove &
    venting requirements, along with installation per NFPA. After completion
    of installation (one I did myself), my agent did an inspection, along
    with taking photographs. Sad to say, his inpsection was more thorough
    than most building inspectors I have run into in the past (no disrespect ELK).
    The nicest thing about it all, is that our rates didn't increase.

    Rob
     
  3. rmcfall

    rmcfall
    Feeling the Heat 2.
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    Nov 28, 2005
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    so there is hope...unfortunately, American Family Insurance isn't in KY.

     
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart
    Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division 2.
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    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    32,595
    9,757
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    We have had an insert on the first floor, a free standing stove in the basement and Allstate Homeowner's insurance for 21 years. We told them about the stoves when we installed them the year we built the house. Of course we have never burned down the house to test the coverage, so I can't tell you what would happen. And I don't plan on ever being able to.
     
  5. rmcfall

    rmcfall
    Feeling the Heat 2.
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    Nov 28, 2005
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    That's interesting....their policy must have changed since you first started with them.

     
  6. Rick

    Rick
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    Nov 23, 2005
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    Connecticut
    I called my agent when I got my stove and he was clueless to its effect on my policy. After it was installed and inspected I called back to see if they needed a copy of the inspection report and he was still clueless. He just says that I "should" be all set. I don't want to push the issue, but I'm not too confident about what would happen to me should there be a problem.

    Rick
     
  7. richg

    richg
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    Nov 20, 2005
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    I work in the field, so here goes. Document everything you do, all conversations with them, and send them a certified letter that you have installed a stove. Same thign goes for the agent....send him a certified letter as well. The agent has binding authority for the carrier, and if he does not know what the carriers underwriting guides are relative to wood stoves, that's his problem, not yours. If you have been with a certain carrier for a while, chances are your rates will not go up, but a rate increase is not the issue here. Insurance companies are legendary for disclaiming coverage after an incident because they claim that a hazard in the house was not identified when they wrote the policy or renewed, and the policy is therefore null and void. Tell them everything, confirm it in writing, and you're safe.
     
  8. DavidV

    DavidV
    New Member 2.
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    Nov 20, 2005
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    Loc:
    Richmond VA
    State Farm here. One triplicate form that you fill out. and the rider was about 58 bucks a year. not bad I thought. A heck of a lot less than insurance on my pool.
     
  9. saichele

    saichele
    Minister of Fire 2.
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    Nov 18, 2005
    542
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    USAA - only interest was whether we wanted a special rider for the value of the woodstove, in the event it was destroyed.

    Steve
     
  10. wahoowad

    wahoowad
    Minister of Fire 2.
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    Dec 19, 2005
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    I keep meaning to find my policy and find any specific exclusions or requirements regarding operating a wood burning appliance. Or a kerosene heater.
     
  11. martel

    martel
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    Feb 9, 2006
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    I mentioned this in another thread but will post here as well: state farm told me this week that an insert requires no extra fee or payment (in fat the woman on the phone said no documentation- i will send some anyway) but a freestanding would be an extra $50 a year.
     
  12. Nokoni

    Nokoni
    New Member 2.
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    Nov 28, 2005
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    I'm in Ohio and I have Liberty Mutual insurance. They said they just need for me to send them the stove model number. I went ahead and sent them that along with proof of my passed inspection. They said my rates would not go up. I'm paid until my policy renews in September so we'll see if anything changes then.
     
  13. alphahugh

    alphahugh
    New Member 2.
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    Nov 18, 2005
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    Allstate : I've been with the company 20 years ,two cars as well as house .No claims.
    Harman woodburning insert into existing masonryfireplace /brick chimney
    I sent copy of permit and specs /drawings, by certified mail .They added it to my policy and it's $13.00 per year extra
     
  14. michael

    michael
    New Member 2.
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    Nov 19, 2005
    53
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    State Farm here. I called my agent and asked about a form, but they said they didn't have one. They said having the stove was not a problem. She also told me that she had one herself in their home.


    Slightly off topic here, but how could they deny you insurance or for that matter a claim if you burnt down your home while using a wood stove? Operating a stove improperly would put the onus of responsibility onto the homeowner, but wouldn other fire causing activities (ie electric blankets, smoking in bed, candles). These activities can cause fires and the insurance company still has to pay. Why would a wood stove be any different?
     
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