We wrote a while ago about the dangers of wood-burning stoves if they aren’t properly installed and maintained. Now there’s news that insurers are increasing insurance premiums for homes which are using them instead of open fires.
Wood burners are becoming more and more popular because they provide an attractive and effective way to warm your home while also cutting heating bills. According to a recent article in the Daily Mail, using wood as a heat source can cut your energy bills by around 25 per cent, and wood burners are far more efficient than open wood fires. But it seems that this saving could be offset by a rise in home insurance.
One man in Kent recently swapped two open fires in his thatched cottage for wood burners. When he informed his insurer, his £2160 insurance premium jumped by £300. So he shopped around and nine out of the other 10 insurers he contacted wanted to charge even more. This is despite the stoves being fitted by a HETAS qualified engineer. He has now referred his case to the Financial Ombudsman but the signs are that they won’t find in his favour.
The problem, as we explained in our previous blog, is that wood burners generate far higher temperatures and send more sparks up the chimney. This creates a significant fire risk, particularly for thatched cottages.
But apparently it’s not every insurer which is wanting to charge more, so the answer is to shop around – but also to make sure firstly your stove is properly installed, and secondly that you are completely honest about having a wood burner. Otherwise your insurance could be invalid.