Insurance & Your Outdoor Alternative Heat Source
Do you currently use coal, grain, pellets, wood, etc. to heat your building?

Does your current insurance policy cover you?

 F.Y.I. there are two classes of insurance for the burning of an
alternative fuel (coal, grain, wood, etc.) appliance:

Class 1) the burning of an alternative fuel as "cosmetic"
- in the case of wood usually defined as the burning of
 less then one to two cords a year for "cosmetic" purposes

Class 2) the burning of an alternative fuel as your "primary source of heat"
- in the case of wood it is usually defined as burning of
more then one to two cords of wood a year to heat your home.

How much alternative fuel do you burn?

Is an alternative fuel the "primary source of heat" for your building?

Which insurance policy do you in fact have?

Read the fine print as there is usually a 25% premium to your insurance
policy to have an "indoor alternative fuel appliance" as your "primary source of heat"!

Check with your policy provider and be honest with them if you
expect to be able collect in the event of a insurance claim.

Outdoor Boilers / Hot Water Furnaces:

What You Need Your Insurance Company To Know:

1) Some insurance companies will need to be educated as to what an outdoor boiler or
hot water furnace is, as they may never have dealt with one before!
2) They may not understand how an outdoor furnace works and how much safer an outdoor boiler or hot water furnace is over an indoor alternative heating appliance.

What Your Insurance Company Will Want To Know:
Hot Water Outdoor Furnaces are constructed to:
CSA Standard B366-1-M91, UL Standard - UL 391 (3rd Edition)
and ULC Standard 726 (7th Edition)

Outdoor boilers are typically certified to be installed as close as 6" to as far as 10' to a "combustible". Refer to the applicable outdoor furnace installation / operators manual and rating plate. Although if you located the outdoor furnace this close to the building most insurance companies will want to charge the same premium as if you had an alternative fuel appliance in
the building as your "primary source of heat", if they will insure you at all, as there are only a few insurance companies willing to insure an alternative fuel as the "primary source of heat"

The outdoor furnace be placed on a non combustible surface such as concrete, although it is usually quite acceptable to have a large gravelled area under and around the outdoor furnace.

Most insurance companies require the outdoor furnace to have a 50' clearance to buildings
in order for there to be no surcharge on your insurance premium.
Some insurance companies want the unit 50' from anything combustible.

The reality is you likely would not want a boiler closer then 50' to a house. A barn or shop is a
different story, but ultimately you need to keep your insurance company happy!

Check with your insurance provider:
If they have a problem with insuring an outdoor boiler ask them if they would consider insuring it
if you had it WETT Inspected and the Installation Certified (their only objection then should be insuring you with a non-conventional heat source as your primary source of heat).

Most insurance company's will also require a backup heat system to any alternative heat source (boiler, fireplace, heater, furnace, etc), they seem to think that electricity, fuel oil, natural gas and propane are a more reliable fuel as a heat source for your building?

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Last modified: 07/07/24