Insurance for freestanding stove in fireplace?

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Feb 1, 2015
Northern Virginia
I hope to put a very small freestanding UL approved stove (as opposed to insert) into my traditional masonry fireplace hearth. It will have all the required 6” liner and 16”+ non-combustible surface in front of the stove. I am in Virginia.

Obviously I plan to include it in my homeowner’s insurance. I understand this setup is what a lot of people end up doing for the look, or other reasons. Should I have any issues with the homeowner’s insurance (only as a supplemental heat source, not main heat source), since stove regulations require certain clearances on all sides and this is a stove and not an insert specifically designed for the masonry space?

I know logically it is a no-brainer since it’s in a masonry firebox, but just wondering if this is something I should be concerned about from an insurance coverage perspective.



Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
South Puget Sound, WA
The clearances listed for the stove are to the nearest combustibles. The masonry in the fireplace is not an issue. However, if there is a mantel or close by side walls, that does need to be taken into account.
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Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2016
Somewhere cold !
Even with inserts the distances apply such as an insert that is not flush mount may be under a mantle, and regardless there will need to be a non combustibles infront of the fireplace. I'm assuming this is not an issue since you already have a masonry fire place.

As for insurance ( and speaking from experience having worked in the insurance industry) there is no requirement for an insurer to accept a wood burning stove ( that I'm aware of ) . However most do. But there are some carriers that simply will not cover them. Don't ask me which ones it can vary by state.

That said you already have an open fireplace and your insurance company wrote the policy knowing this. Adding an insert improves the safety of the open fire place so I imagine you would have no issues with an insert. But adding a free standing wood stove might raise a flag. I know it sounds stupid but to an underwriter who has probably no clue about wood burning, a free standing stove and insert might be looked upon as 2 different entities. Just something to clarify with your carrier.

My advice would be to call and ask your agent. Tell them you are considering a wood stove. Some insurance companies will want pictures and measurements to combustibles. See what they say.
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Mag Craft

Feeling the Heat
Apr 2, 2014
When I put in my wood stove the insurance company wanted copies of the specs for installation and then they sent out a representative to inspect
the install to see if it was done according to the install book that came with the stove. They also took pictures of the install. Once that was completed
there was no issue on having it included on the homeowners insurance policy.
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Staff member
When we built this joint back in 1985 I cordially invited the fire marshal, the insurance company and the building inspector to come and take a look at my insert and the stove I installed on the other flue in the basement. The only one that even responded was the insurance agent who said "We already know that it has a fireplace and what else would you do with the chimney from the basement?". Lot of different stoves over the years and I ain't asking again.

Message being, if they want to charge you more for having a fire confined in a UL listed wood stove inside that fireplace as opposed to an open fire in your house, make'em tell you why. The fireplace is already included in your rating for insurance.


Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Re: Insurance

From what I've read here over the years experiences with wood stoves and insurance carriers varies with some insurance companies not inspecting the set up, some requiring inspections, some charging a premium increase, some charging nothing extra and a few not allowing a wood stove. My advice would be to call the company or agent.
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