Insurance for wood stove

1. This house was built 1986, approved beforehand and inspected afterwards as conforming to building code in all respects including the wood stove and steel chimney. We use it 100 to 120 days a year, have the chimney swept every 100 days (five times in four years); the local fire brigade has twice inspected, approved the stove and commended our operating methods. 2. Property insurance companies have been apprehensive about fires caused by improperly operated wood stoves for about 10 years; for several years (in Canada) they have charged a premium of about 10 per cent for home owners who have a wood stove. 3. My insurer (April) asked in May to send an inspector to check on the wood stove. He telephoned in June, inspected in July and wrote in August a report sent to the insurer in September, that says the stove does not conform to the current building code in two particular respects. 4. Since then I have asked the insurance agent and the insurance company about six questions about topics from technical detail to policy. (E.g. 1: if we remove one inch all around the fire-resistant panel to improve airflow, as inthe current code, will this satisfy the insurer? E.g. 2: is the insurer asking us to retrofit to meet the current code for new construction, which city building and fire inspectors do _not_ do?) In three months one such question has been answered and none of the others.
We are being jerked around. My impression is (1) the insurance people do not actually know anything about wood stoves, and are relying on (2) the inspector with credentials in Wood Energy Technology Transfer, who has taken a three-day course in stoves and the (current) building code. The ingredient missing is that the insurance company has not yet said, in general, what its policy is or, in particular, what it would like us to do.
How common is this nowadays?
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Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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ask a different insurance company. if they won't tell you how to become compliant, do you expect them to be there when you have a problem?
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Well, we have a second home with a 'free standing cone fireplace' and we recently received a notice from out insurance company that our fireplace is not safe and our insurance will be dropped if we don't rectify the situation within 20 days.
Background: we bought this house this past summer. I can tell by looking at the fireplace that it isn't safe (there is a reduction in the size of the pipe, there is no fireproof material on the walls behind the fireplace, it is only 18" from the wall and the concrete slab thing under it isn't much bigger than the fireplace itself). I never had any intention of using the damn thing. About two months ago,some inspector for the insurance company came and took pictures of it, and a couple weeks ago we got the letter. As it happened, I had scheduled a chimney cleaning and inspection by the chimney company for December 1st even before I got the letter.
When I called the insurance company, the underwriter that I spoke to didn't seem to have any more knowledge than I did (in other words, none). She told me that I had to have the fire marshall from the town inspect it and sign off on it being to code, etc.
In the end, we are just going to rip the damn thing out since I have no interest in using it anyway. Maybe we'll put in a pellet stove or a 'real' woodstove in the future, but in the meantime the insurance company is satisfied with me telling them that I am going to remove it. I'm supposed to call them back for a reinspection once it is removed.
I'd guess that it is pretty normal for them to be worried about woodstoves, fire is a big cause of claims, and getting rid of 'unsafe' fireplaces, woodstoves and chimneys would help their bottom line in the long run.
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