Heating with wood - insurance costs?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by QBVII, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. QBVII

    QBVII Well-Known Member

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    Good morning.
    Hubby and I were discussing heating with wood upon our return to KY.
    He said that we wouldn't be able to do that, as using a wood burner will skyrocket home insurance costs.
    Anyone know?
     
  2. dixiedoodle

    dixiedoodle Well-Known Member

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    I know if you live in a Mobile home ,you cannot get insurance if you use wood.That was what I was told by an agent,himself!
     

  3. Obser

    Obser "Mobile Homesteaders"

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    Insurance company practices must vary regarding wood heat in a mobile. We once lived in a mobile that had a fireplace and was fully insured. The agent visited and wrote up a full description, so it isn't that the company was unaware of the fireplace.

    Whether your home is a mobile or not it might be wise to check with your insurer and with other companies regarding their practices regarding wood heat -- and get information right from the horse's mouth, so to speak.
     
  4. BarbH

    BarbH Well-Known Member

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    I think our surcharge for having a wood heater is a little over $200 per year in AR.
     
  5. QBVII

    QBVII Well-Known Member

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    Uh --- I didn't say it was a mobile home....it's a HOUSE. Our landlord, before we left, put these electric heating units in the house and the electric bill SKY-ROCKETED.

    I was saying that maybe we could switch over to wood heat.

    Hubby said no, that the landlord won't allow it because of insurance costs for a house.

    I'd be very surprised if he even HAS insurance on the house - he's as tight as the bark on a tree. So he put these very expen$ive heaters in, that drive OUR electric bills up!!! He isn't worried about the utility bill..he isn't the one paying it.
     
  6. Obser

    Obser "Mobile Homesteaders"

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    Installing wood heat in a rented house doesn't seem like a practical idea.
     
  7. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    I think the simple solution would be to move before it gets cold again. It would be completely up to your landlord whether or not you could install any kind of wood burning stove.Insurance is really not an issue. Move!
     
  8. QBVII

    QBVII Well-Known Member

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    I know. It sounds a bit odd, doesn't it. Our rent there is very, VERY CHEAP --- I will have to say that. PLUS, we have all that LAND. Unfortunately, last spring (and this), when we return, planting season will be over....heck, I probably posted about that last year!!!
    We have about five or six acres, there's a great garden spot, a pond, there's a barn...as I say, our rent is very cheap. But getting necessary repairs and maintenance is next to impossible.

    The house is sort of like the one Oliver Wendell Douglas lived in!

    Last spring when we were first there, the septic tank situation was out of hand..it took a couple of months (OR MORE) before he actually did anything and my husband was still having to snake the pipes or whatever out right before we came out here.......never did get it fixed.....

    I know it's up to him - we are just tired of moving. We have a lot of room with a great garden spot. If we could get something done we would be more than happy to put some labor hours in ourselves, in order to make the place more liveable. We're way out in the country, so far out there isn't even a cell phone signal! And just down the road from hubby's parents. It's a very tiny community, so finding something else that has land to RENT won't be easy. We talked about renting in town but we wouldn't be able to have chickens...........we just had some baby chickens hatch out before we came out here, we had to give them away.
    So when we move back, we really want it to be back to "the farm."
    We're just not real eager to take on those high electric bills!
     
  9. DaleK

    DaleK Well-Known Member

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    Indoor wood heat will generally cost more to insure than any other option. An outdoor wood furnace will usually cost less to insure than any other option because the heat source is away from the house, but I don't think that would be an option I'd look at in a rented house because of the cost.
     
  10. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If it's professionally installed, it either has no effect on insurance or very little($50/year). Here, anyway.
     
  11. QBVII

    QBVII Well-Known Member

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    We came out here to Arizona last November - right after we left, he put in these electric heaters.
    Must have turned them up pretty good - we weren't even living in the house and the electric bill apparently jumped up to $245 a month.
    Mail delivery here is a joke - we didn't even GET the bill until we got a notice saying that they were going to disconnect the electricity for the bill not being paid.
    We couldn't believe it - we weren't even living there. I guess he had the heat on to keep the pipes from freezing in the house.
    They shut the power off.
    We have emailed the landlord but he won't answer us!
    My husband is still paying the rent on the house because our furniture, etc., is still there. Luckily (?), he is a childhood friend of my husband's. I knew he was very, very slow about getting anything done (everything has happened to that house......leaks, burnt fuses, stopped-up pipes --- typically takes him about a week to even get out there), but I never thought he would just refuse to answer an email. I really don't know what's wrong with him, except being a tightwad.
     
  12. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The only person who can tell you for sure what insurance would cost, or if it is available, is an insurance agent. We have a wood burning forced-air furnace in the basement, and a wood kitchen range, and our insurance lists them in the policy, and it doesn't cost us more than $50 a year extra, if that much. It all depends on your insurance company, the house, and what part of the country you are in. Call your agent, and if he says it will cost too much, call other agents.
     
  13. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Wood heat in a rental house does skyrocket the insurance... my assumption is the insurance companies assume that if is isn't "your house" you're less careful. I think this is silly.. I mean, it is your stuff and your life, right?

    Anyhow, we have a woodstove in our rental for our tenants to use, and propane. So the insurance says "propane heat and decorative stove." In reality of course, the propane heater is decorative and they burn the stove!
     
  14. bostonlesley

    bostonlesley Guest

    I've never rented a house so I can't answer that, but in homes that I've owned I've never had homeowner's insurance raised due to heating with wood..as long as we met their standards..triple metal flue..stove 18 inches from the wall with wall protected by fire-resistant barrier + stove on protected floor.

    They sent inspectors out to prove that what I had put on the application was what was actually "there", but there was no problem..That was in PA, AL and MO.
     
  15. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

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    The rent must be REALLY cheap!!!
    If its a rental, don't put in a wood stove. You would be making a capital improvement on property that isn't yours. Doesn't make sense. Insurance costs would be little affected if you do install an approved wood stove. A more practical approach IMHO would be to get some portable oil-filled radiators. They are efficient and economical.
    As for the landlord running the heat on high while you weren't there, that would be his to pay. Combine that with the other problems the place has and his unwillingness to fix them in a timely manner leads me only to repeat: The rent must be REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY cheap!!!
     
  16. Tabitha

    Tabitha greenheart

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    I don't understand why you are worrying about the insurance. we were told you can not get insurance if there is a woodstove in use. a Fireplace is a different story, you may have ne of those and it does not affect the insurance.. If you live so far back in the woods, he may not have insurance on the place at all.. Did you ask him? Do you have a chimney so you could set up a stove? it would help to have auxiliary wood heat. maybe you can find a stove second hand that won't cost an arm and a leg. Rig up a sawdust toilet for the next time the plumbing acts up. at least you won't be inconvenienced til it gets fixed since he is so slow and probably won't get any faster. a simple woodstove you can sell again or take with you when you move.
    we can't get any insurance on our house and we live in Ky also. the only thing that worries me are tornadoes.
     
  17. Westwood

    Westwood Well-Known Member

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    The point of insurance is having something you think can't be replaced. Or something you want to gamble with an insurance company against that replacement. More simply why would you gamble with an insurance company against them paying for replacement for what you, if smart lived close enough to the bone that you couldn't replace most of at a decent garage sale?
     
  18. farmerscotty

    farmerscotty Well-Known Member

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    You may need to shop around to find the right insurance for the product you are wanting to heat with. Lots of different prices on insurance. Scott
     
  19. QBVII

    QBVII Well-Known Member

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    LOL

    We are paying $250 a month.
    The water comes from a well on the land, so no cost for water.
    The house is small; but it's in the country, with about five acres - if we ever stayed there long enough at a stretch, we could have a HUGE garden. It IS inconvenient, though, because it is only two bedrooms.
    Then there is just one bath.
    Actually, before we came out here I had mentioned a composting toilet to my hubby. I'm definitely going to look into that when we return!
    I know that one website "Peace and Carrots", the homesteaders in Vermont, they have one and they have pictures of in on their site.
    Works like a charm, evidently.
    From what I read, the composting toilets you pay big bucks for don't work as well as the home-grown models. LOL
     
  20. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    That is quite a deal for $250.