Wood heating and insurance: 4 things you need to know!

Do you use wood to heat your home, or thinking of doing so? What kind of impact can it have on your home insurance and how can you make sure that it’s installed and maintained safely? Here are a few explanations taken from La Capitale’s blog.

1. Follow recommendations from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and the Association des professionnels du chauffage (APC) before you purchase a wood heating unit or a home that includes one.

  • The unit should be approved by the CSA Group, Warnock Hersey, ETL or ULC certified
  • It must be installed or inspected by a certified technician who is a member of the APC
  • Your city or municipality must approve the installation (wood heating may be forbidden for environmental reasons)

2. Notify your insurer to make sure you’re covered in the event of damage caused by your wood heating unit. The insurer will include the unit in your contract after making sure it’s safe.

Since wood heating increases the risk of fire, you should expect an increase in your home insurance premium. In order for your insurer to consider your unit safe, it must meet certain criteria:

  • Reliable chimney type (e.g. prefabricated 2,100-degree metallic chimney or masonry chimney with a refractory tile or a metal duct)
  • Cleaning frequency based on the type of unit and number of cords of wood burned
  • Unit safely installed (e.g. no combustible materials nearby, hoses and connections in good condition, chimney in good working order, etc.)

3. Remember that wood heating represents a higher risk of fire than other types of heating. Experience has shown us that the main causes of fire related to wood stoves are the following:

  • Defective or poorly installed unit or chimney
  • Combustible materials too close to the unit
  • Improper maintenance and use
  • Not cleaned often enough, which causes a creosote residue

4. Make sure you maintain your unit properly and use it in a prudent manner to reduce risks.

  • Never burn anything in your unit other than dry heating wood
  • Have your unit inspected by a professional, and don’t forget about the chimney and hoses too
  • Clean it every year
  • Dispose of fireplace ashes safely

Take advantage of the new partnership with La Capitale!

If you’re a DuProprio client, ask La Capitale General Insurance for a quote. You’ll receive an additional 5% discount and savings of up to $360 by bundling your home, auto and leisure vehicle insurance.

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