Does Having a Fireplace Impact Home Insurance?
Warming up next to your fireplace and roasting a marshmallow is an excellent way to spend those cool summer nights; however, specific fireplaces and stoves can make it difficult to obtain home insurance from some providers. Discover whether a fireplace is suitable for your household and how having a fireplace impacts home insurance.
What Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover?
Many people may wonder if they need to have supplemental coverage for fire damage—generally, the answer is no. Most of the time, homeowner’s insurance covers fire and smoke damage, including accidents involving wood-burning stoves and fireplaces.
Does a Fireplace Increase Insurance Rates?
Owning a home with a wood-burning fireplace may affect your homeowner’s insurance rate, but the amount of your rate increase depends on your provider and your specific policy. In addition, some insurance companies may require professionally-installed wood-burning stoves that pass an inspection before they’ll insure you.
Your rate may only increase approximately 2 percent, but other companies might charge more. You may be able to prevent rate bumps by installing smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your home, meeting code requirements, and providing your insurance agency with proof of proper installation.
There’s nothing like sitting next to an authentic fire, but wood-burning stoves and fireplaces may pose an increased risk of injury or damage than other types of fireplaces. In addition, it may be much more difficult to obtain home coverage if your wood-burning fireplace is poorly maintained. With that in mind, you can reduce the risk of fire and other issues by taking these steps:
- Schedule professional inspections. You should hire a professional chimney inspector at least once each year. They’ll check for cracks, build-up, and other potential problems. Generally, you should have your chimney cleaned annually, but the inspector should let you know if further servicing is necessary.
- Use the correct wood. Seasoned hardwood burns slower and more efficiently than softer wood, and it doesn’t produce as much soot and residue.
- Remove flammable objects from the area. Make sure rugs, drapes, and other fabrics or furniture aren’t too close to the fireplace.
Although checking with your insurance provider is a smart move, having a wood-burning fireplace in your house most likely won’t impact your home insurance too much. For safer alternatives, check out Everything Fireplaces’ extensive online fireplace store for a wide variety of gas and electric options.