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Pulling my hair out, insurance co.

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Res5cue, Jun 4, 2008.

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  1. Res5cue

    Res5cue New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    36
    Loc:
    Bangor, Maine
    If I had a scanner I would show you the form they just sent me for my pellet stove installation. I called them and explained it was a pellet stove, she said yeah "wood stove" after I corrected her again, she said, "they're the same thing." All the questions that are answered with Yes or No are aimed at wood stoves and the clearances for them. WTH, its a 0 clearance stove.

    example: 36" to wall without heatshield, 4" above pad (Its a P38 it has no legs, how am I gonna pull that off?).

    God I hate insurance Companies, anyone have a good one that understands the differance?

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  2. mralias

    mralias Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    901
    Loc:
    MA
    Too bad your not in MA I have many contacts that I could help you out. Who is the company?
    Are you sure it is the Insurance Company that is asking this and not some form made up by the insurance Agent? I have seen that before.
  3. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Madison, WI
    Just send them a copy of the install manual.
  4. Res5cue

    Res5cue New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    36
    Loc:
    Bangor, Maine
    National Grange Mutual Insurance is the company, our insurance agency switched us to them because they thought they were better then what we had. Problem might be more with the local agency too, just being ignorant and difficult to deal with. If they wanted to, they could make things go really smooth, but I dont see them trying real hard. Think its time to shop for a new agent.
  5. pete324rocket

    pete324rocket Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    470
    Loc:
    albert county, new brunswick
    get an insurance broker ...who deals with many insurance companies. Pellet stoves should be treated differently BUT for what they are.Get someone experienced.
  6. newpelletstove

    newpelletstove Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Messages:
    148
    Loc:
    Upstate New York
    Hey Res5cue,

    That form sounds like the same one I got. Fortunately my agent took it, because I answered everything like, "x inches per manufacturer's instructions" and adding in several places that it is not a wood stove, and not hot on the back, sides or top. I also drew in the margin a picture of how the chimney is installed. My agent does seem to be awake and intelligent, however, possibly different than yours. And my agent is close by so I visited in person. My insurance company is Security Mutual.

    I hope this helps - it can be done - like you say, it may just be the person you are dealing with.

    Newpelletstove
  7. dlpz

    dlpz New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Messages:
    80
    Loc:
    Syracuse, New York
    Called my Insurance Company today about installing the Englander I bought in the fall. They said it needed to be installed "by a professional to code". Not too sure if that is really vague or I need a "professional". I called a local place which they said for liability reasons they would not install a stove they did not sell and I would have problems finding anyone who would. To me I would think that anybody running a business would look to take the job during the summer season to keep a crew busy.
  8. Res5cue

    Res5cue New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Bangor, Maine
    Really Hot,

    Might try some Chimney guys to do installation. They would put the pipe in to spec. They prob wouldn't care where you got the stove.
  9. Richardin52

    Richardin52 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Messages:
    122
    Loc:
    A farm in Maine
    I can only tell you what happened to me.

    When I put my boiler into my apartment house the paper did an article about it.

    After the article I had people call me and say they wanted to do the same thing but their insurance co. Said they couldn’t if the building was not owner occupied. One of the people had the same insurer I had. I hadn’t checked.

    After I looked at my policy I sent my insurer a registered letter. I told them that I had just put in a pellet boiler. That it was a listed boiler put in by a master oil and solid fuel burner tech. That it was in a room with 5/8 fire rated sheet rock that had a sprinkler.

    I also told them that I had checked and no where in my policy did it not allow the use of a pellet boiler and if they disagreed with me to please send me a copy of the section that did not allow it. I also told them that if they would not insure me because of the boiler to please contact me within 5 business days so I could find another insurer.

    After that I contacted Mark Norwood of Evergreen Heat and told him about this. He contacted the governors council for energy independence. They were not aware this was happening and had a meeting with the Maine insurance commissioner who I think is part of the council now.

    Anyway about a week later I got a bill from my insurer for $16.00 to cover the increase in my insurance for the value of the boiler.

    I work as a code enforcement officer and am familiar with NFPA codes. In the past I have had people come to me with questions regarding something an insurance company told them. Most of the time what an insurance agent told them has nothing to do with any code. If I were you I would make sure you are in compliance with all codes in your state or town then send them a registered letter, return receipt requested) and inform them that your stove installation meets all local and state codes and if they have a problem with that they please respond to you in writing explaining exactly what they have a problem with.

    If they go as far as writing you a letter that requires something that is beyond any code I would contact the Maine Insurance Commissioner. (You might mention to him that you next stop will the Governors council)

    If they send you a form like you mentioned to fill out I would send it back and tell them again that it was installed to all local and state codes and if they would like to inspect it so they can fill out the form to please contact you to make arrangements to do this.
  10. newpelletstove

    newpelletstove Member

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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Upstate New York
    Rich, it's great the way it worked out for you. It also worked out for me. I filled out the same form (it sounds like) that Res5cue is being asked to fill out, and filled it out the way I said (about 3 posts before this one), and my insurer charged a mere $25 added premium per year. I am satisfied with this.

    However, insurance companies may require things beyond code. State Farm several years ago, when I lived in a different part of New York and had them as my insurer, they were going to cancel my policy unless I removed a woodstove from my outbuilding. They said State Farm no longer insures residential property with woodstoves anywhere other than in the main structure. I had never used that stove and had no intention to, and since all other companies had rates higher by $100 or more per year, I took the stove out to stay with State Farm and save the $100 per year. Insurance companies are private enterprises that may choose or decline to insure your property based on their own criteria.
  11. nhdblfan

    nhdblfan Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    187
    Loc:
    Central NH
    I called ,my insurance company,USAA they considered it,a pellet stove, the same as a fireplace $45.00 more per year.I tried to explain the differnence but got nowhere.Your dealing with clerks at desks that have charts and no ability to think independantly.
  12. pete324rocket

    pete324rocket Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    470
    Loc:
    albert county, new brunswick
    when we had a woodstove that was not certified,we called everyone in the book to get insurance but to no avail except for one that had a guy they would send to our house to actually take a look at it,since they insured a lot of houses that burn wood and they would be losing a lot of business if they cut them all off. In the end the stove would not pass the test since it was homemade but when we replaced with a pellet stove,they were so comfortable with them,they haven't even sent a guy to check it.I put the stove in myself and as long as you are not a corner cutter,I can't see what the big deal is unless you are very un-handy.It was easy except for moving the sucker cuz it was heavy. Long and the short of it,try to find out who your buddies are insured with for burning wood since they will be easier to find,and see if they have any stories to tell.It will eventually lead you in the right direction.
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