Home Insurance With A Wood Burning Stove

WRITTEN BY: Mark Romero


As with any potentially risky addition, adding a wood-burning stove to your home could affect your insurance premiums.

If you want to own a log or pellet stove, there are ways to mitigate a potential increase in home insurance costs. 

In this article, we’ll review how you can avoid insurance premium increases and some of the conditions for coverage for owning a wood-burning stove home.  

There are a lot of factors that affect your homeowners insurance, and owning a wood stove is one of them. 

When insurance companies evaluate a home to be insured, they analyze risk factors, location, inspection requirements, and more to determine their level of risk over twenty or thirty years. 

While some consumers may consider insurance a short-term cash grab, companies involved in homeowner’s insurance are analyzing all of their clients’ risks and projecting that assumed risk deep into the future.

Is a Wood Stove a Risk Factor for Homeowners Insurance?

Generally speaking, a risk factor in insurance terms is any addition to a home that can contribute to that home’s risk to insure. 

The higher the risk to insure a property, the higher the insurance premiums. Insurance companies don’t want to risk losing money in the long-term, let alone in the short term, due to a fire or poolside accident.  

Regarding risk factors, owning a wood-burning stove or fireplace is not at the top of the list, but you are sure to notice a small increase in your monthly insurance bills. 

Pools, any fire concern, location, and even maintenance histories of a house can affect insurance premiums and an insurance company’s willingness to insure. 

Less common risk factors include local weather history, pets, and trampolines.  

Home Insurance Requirements for Wood Stoves

When considering if there will be any insurance requirements to validate the safety of your wood-burning or pellet stove, you must first determine when the stove was installed. 

If a previous owner installed the wood-burning stove without proof of a licensed contractor, your insurance company might refer you to recent fire codes as a starting point. 

It’s common for fire codes to frequently change regarding wooden stoves, required ventilation, and the frequency of required inspections.  

If you have purchased a home without an existing wooden stove but want to put one in, work with a licensed contractor familiar with local fire and building codes! 

Contrary to popular belief, wood-burning stoves have evolved quite a bit over the years and are safer than their hundred-year-old counterparts. 

Suppose your new stove is properly installed, set up with ventilation, and inspected by your homeowners insurance company. In that case, you may even be able to avoid a hike in insurance premiums altogether.

Conditions for Coverage

If you are looking at purchasing a historic home or a house that has yet to be renovated with a wood-burning stove, it may be worth your time to research whether a building inspector has had a chance to look at the installation. 

It is common for homeowners to install modifications such as wood-burning stoves without applying for a building permit or consulting an engineer with any knowledge of local fire codes. Without proper ventilation, ducting, and insulation to deter sparks, your wood-burning stove may be a bigger hazard than you imagined.

When it comes to insuring an older home with a wood-burning stove installed as an aftermarket add-on, any reputable insurance company will want an inspector to take a close look at the installation. If not installed correctly, a wood-burning stove can prevent a fire hazard that insurance companies are all too familiar with. 

For every potential fire hazard the inspector deems a risk; your insurance premium is sure to increase. Some insurance companies won’t even insure an older home without a fire inspector or other fire prevention expert first looking over the property and making recommendations for improvement!

Location Matters

Even when it comes to owning a wood-burning stove, location can greatly impact your homeowners insurance premiums.

If you live somewhere where fire risk is higher than average in the summer, your insurance company has to consider their potential risk beyond the assets on your property. 

While some may not consider wood-burning stoves as dangerous as gas, they produce many embers, which can be a problem in any dry climate. 

In contrast, if you live along the coast, where the highs in the summer are a breezy 70 degrees and the winters are wet, owning a wood-burning stove may not influence your insurance premium at all!

Questions to Consider

Before installing a wood-burning stove or purchasing a home with one, consider these questions:

  • Do I live in a county with a high level of fire danger?
  • Does the stove have proper ventilation?
  • Has the wood-burning stove been renovated?
  • Are there any inspection records available?
  • What would be the cost of having a fire inspection performed?

Finding the answers before approaching an insurance company may save you time and money! 

While hiring a fire or safety inspector now may seem like an unneeded expense, if it means your homeowners insurance is $100 cheaper for the next ten years, it may be worth considering.

Should You Install a Wood Stove?

When searching for your perfect home, you should never be worried about fitting into specific categories or restrictions. 

If owning a house with a wood-burning stove is your dream, be prepared. You’ll need to talk with your insurance company about premiums and how they are affected by home appliances. It’s always better to be safe than sorry regarding fire hazards.

How To Compare Home Insurance With A Wood Burning Stove

If you’re in the market for a wood-burning stove, it’s important to be aware of the potential increase in your home insurance premiums. However, there are ways to mitigate those costs.

You can keep your premiums as low as possible and still enjoy all the benefits of owning a log or pellet stove. Compare policies by giving us a call or completing our online form.