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Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Henz, Mar 24, 2006.

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  1. Henz

    Henz New Member

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    Just a quick note..anyone who has purchased a new house that did not have a woodstove prior to obtaining homeowners ins, once you do have a stove installed you need to contact your insurance agent to let them know. They will come and take pictures and add it to your policy. Wont cost you any additional $$ but then you will be covered! Jsut a FYI..

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  2. the_guad

    the_guad New Member

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    That's not always the case. I called my insurance company when I bought an insert and they said that they didn't treat it any differently than an open hearth fireplace (assuming you had a fireplace to begin with) and they didn't differentiate if it was a woodstove. However, if you pay a lot for your insert or woodstove you may want to ensure that your property is revalued so that if you did burn your house down they would give you the extra money to replace the heater as well.

    Of course, you should call your insurance company EVERY TIME you make an expensive modification to your house. If you don't notify them and you suffer a loss you will NOT get the money to rebuild it to the way it was, but instead you will receive enough money to rebuild it to the way it was in their records.

    It will cost you money, in excess premiums, but it doesn't amount to much.

    PS. I intentionally left out the insurance providers name. I don't want people to assume that this is always going to be the case for that company.
  3. Henz

    Henz New Member

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    Huh, interesting points. I was thinking more along the line if you burn the place down and the cause is the woodstove and your ins co didnt know that you have a wood stove they may not cover anything..? I mean, the question was asked directaly if I had a woodstove/fireplace etc when I first obtained the ins.
  4. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Every time there is an incident the insurance investigators call into our office to see if proper permtting had occured. We know when a serious payout is going to happen,
    that's when they show up requesting coppies. Almost all require the certificate of compliance or inspections for wood stove incidents. I know of two incidents .
    where the payout was nowhere the the cost of replacement. Wiring fire in a basement playroom no permit pulled no inspections. the people sued the insurance company lost
    due to no permitting and inspections. You are at there mercey, especially claiming for something that in not legally there or contributed to the incident. When I do my inspections
    I bring a few coppies to sign one for the office one for the homeowner and the third for the insurance co advising the homeowner to send it to them
  5. hafreed

    hafreed New Member

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    I'm considering building a house so I called my insurance company for an estimate for a wood stove. I will be on a well without a nearby pond. He told me it would add $65.00 a year to the policy. I thought that was a bargain.
  6. Henz

    Henz New Member

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    huh, thats interesting. My ins co said that there would be no increased amount as long as they came to check the end product and take pictures of it.
  7. Turner-n-Burner

    Turner-n-Burner New Member

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    When I talked to my insurance agent before buying my home last summer, she said that there is no difference in cost between a woodstove and a fireplace, but there is a cost associated with them. In other words, my home would be less expensive to insure if it had neither.
  8. Henz

    Henz New Member

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    huh, interesting..would like to hear from others out there? What about the outdoor wood boiler? Wounder if that is one of the selling points cuase I doubt that since it is outside the dwelling that it was affect anyones homeowners ins..
  9. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Depends on the policy. If you want an 'unbrella' policy/rider (covers just about any type lawsuite) you may be out of luck.
  10. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    USAA charges nothing for a woodstove and they do not require a permit or inspection. Only issue is if you want to insure the value of the stove itself.
  11. the_guad

    the_guad New Member

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    Not to end the conversation, but every reader should make sure to call their insurance company to seek clarification. Every company is different and every state is different. I didn't need to get any permits for my insert, probably because I already had an open hearth fireplace. Again, I intentionally don't mention the state because I don't want someone else in this state burning their house down and blaming me for telling them that I didn't need a permit or inspection.

    Everyone, PLEASE check with your local building officials AND your insurance company. Even if it does cost you a little more it MAY be worth it to you in the end even if you think it may not. You could always phrase it as a hypothetical question of your insurer along the lines of, "I'm thinking of adding a wood stove or wood burning insert. Would it cost more money to insure my home and what documentation do you require to cover it in case of a loss resulting from a fire or other cause?"
  12. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Permits are required in every state that subcribes to The international Mechanical codes so far all 50 subscribe. I do not know if the territories subscribe. Its not a insurance requirement but national code. All stoves manufactured after 1979 had to include language that code compliance is manditory. ITs clearly stated in every manual Part of the UL listing process. IT is actually a required spec as proof of compliance and proof of proper installation, even for warranty issues. Many insurance companies also require proof of inspection compliance. Non compliance can void you insurance policy, not all,but language is there should they want to enforce it.

    I can not understand the mind set after spending 2 -3k you want to cheap out on a $30 permit? The next life, I could save could be yours. Your life or familly safety is not worth $30? Personally, I know I have prevented personal disasters. I can not help you if you are not willing to help yourself. I hate doing the inspections after disaster has happened. Figuring out what went wrong. Especially for $30, I could have prevented it in the first place. This heating season I have found and solved 4 carbon monoxide situations. Not just from wood stoves, knowing how to reconise dangerous situations. I do not know what more to say. I know the stories will depict less than stellar inspections. I'm trying to address that here and presenting seminars in my state. Don't know what more I can do. Some will not listen to or do not want to hear. I get the feeling that they think they know more than me. My familly is safe. more than I can say for theirs
  13. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Be interesting to know who ALL of you have for insurance companies.
  14. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    My stove was in the house when we bought, but once I told the insurance guy that I planned on using it he got real interested in my stove. He came by, snapped a bunch of pics, crawled all around with his tape, measuring clearances and such.
    Same deal when we refinanced. We upped our insurance to cover the increased value of the house over the past few years(the_guad has a very good point on this!!). The insurance gal (this time) did not come to look at the stove in person, but she did have us send her pics and answer questions about clearances.
    Now when I finally upgrade my stove, I will most definitely get the proper inspection, paperwork, etc.. on the install.

    Oh....I don't mind saying I'm with Erie Insurance (cars, house and life).
  15. lizzybobio

    lizzybobio New Member

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    I thought that this was important to bring back up at this time of year when people are in the stove buying mood again.

    I'm having a free-standing stove put into my existing fireplace. No problems with insurance and no increase in premiums. Though they did ask if it was being professionally installed (it is), and they made sure that I send the paperwork from the inspection required for the permit after install.
  16. SeanD

    SeanD New Member

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    I installed my stove early last fall. Called my insurance company first to find out what they required. They needed to inspect it after I was done. They sent me a form that they would fill out as part of the inspection and I used it as a guide along with the owner's manual/installation information from the stove manufacturer. The inspection was kind of a joke. The agent sent out a young fellow who knew nothing about construction, codes or stoves. He just filled out the questionaire and took some pictures. Premium did not go up at that time, but did go up some when the policy renewed. I think that was more because of Katrina's effect on all insurance premiums.
    Elk, I also contacted our township building inspectors and told them what I was going to do and asked what I needed to get from them to stay legal. They told me they did not require a permit or an inspection. That really surprised me because they were very thorough when we built the house and later when we added a porch. The only thing I can figure is when we built the house we had an extra flue put in the chimney for exactly this purpose. Attaching the stove to this flue was simply a matter of putting the pipe in the thimble. Still, the township has no idea if I complied with clearances, etc.
    I saved their email to me just in case there is ever a problem.
  17. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Is that email on a remote server? (just in case)
  18. SeanD

    SeanD New Member

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    Yup. I forwarded it to my work email address.
  19. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I've been told by insurance agents that most everything is covered - and that the permit process and other such things are not related to their insurance. This does not mean they won't fight payout in purely stupid situations, but think about it - who is really insured - THE BANK AND MORTGAGE COMPANIES - do you think these multi-billion dollar companies are making loans against houses that they will not get paid for? Of course not!

    Houses burn every day from stupid and "illegal" behavior, such as heating with the kitchen stove, using thin extension cords with too much plugged in and other such behavior - and the insurance companies pay. Again, they may haggle for a few bucks in terms of homeowner replacement value, but you can be certain the banks and mortgage companies are not reliant on building permits.

    As I have said before, stand outside any Home Depot and watch what people are buying EVERY minute. Anyone with basic math skills can assume that a vast majority of those things - from plumbing to electrical, are being done without permits. That's the way it is - I didn't create it that way.

    As far as $30 permits, that might be what one town or another charges, but building permits have VASTLY increased costs to the customer. I've given this example before, but think about gas fireplace logs. In the old days, the logs were installed in one trip, for about $175-200 labor and material for the install. One guy could do it in two hours if he was good. Now they start at about $600 installed....why? Because:
    1. Customer buys logs - cannot be scheduled since permit is needed.
    2. Customer is asked to get forms and bring them to shop
    3. (delay) - sometimes Store has blank forms that will do
    4. Permit is filled out and turned in
    5. If everything is correct, permit is granted...this can take from 2 to 10 days, and I've seen it take longer around holidays or if you are missing something in the application
    6. Now you can set up the job- of course the shop is a few week behind
    7. You can go to job and do about 1 1/2 hours of work but then you must stop because the rough gas line must be inspected.
    8. Inspection then usually happens within 48 hours.
    9. You again have to schedule with the homeowner - who often is not home during the day and has to take another day off work.
    10. You finish the job in about one hour (plus travel time), but it once again needs inspection.
    11. Customer must be home again to have unit inspected.
    12. If everything is OK, then customer can use logs an shop gets final payment.

    Compare these 12 steps with another method of installing.....
    (note: this is how it was done by our UTILITY COMPANY in South Jersey)
    1. Call Utility company - schedule logs installation
    2. Company sends their sub and logs are fully installed

    No, the utility company did not get permits on these jobs - I knew the sub who did their work.

    On one hand, in a perfect world installers would not be 5 weeks behind and homeowners would be home every day and inspectors would get everything taken care of the same day, etc. - but it is not that way. And the end result is a cost vastly larger than $30 to the homeowner. In the case above, it has in our shop resulted in at least a doubling of the cost to the homeowner - if not more.

    Permitting in new homes and additions is a breeze since work is continual and there is usually something to do while waiting on an inspection....plus, one permit is filed for many inspections. But doing small jobs is another story.

    In my town, the inspector is in his office 2 hours a week - unless it is a holiday. This means it take at least 10 days to 2 weeks to get a permit after you turn in your papers since he is the only person in the Building Dept and he is only in on tuesdays.
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