Insurance brochure


Wood Burning Stoves

Guidelines for homes with wood burning stoves

Our goal in developing an insurance program for homes with wood burning stoves is to make certain these homes do not present excessive risk of fire danger to you and your family. Our research shows that wood burning stoves continue to be a leading cause of home fires in Wisconsin. There are three primary factors which all homeowners with wood burning stoves should be concerned:

  1. Quality of the stove and chimney and proper installation.
  2. Cleanliness of the chimney.
  3. Damage that can result from the high levels of heat from the wood burning stove.

WEA Member Benefits requires wood burning stoves to meet certain specifications for your home to be eligible for a home insurance policy with us (see below). If your stove does not meet these important safety standards, we cannot insure your home.

Specifications for wood burning and pellet-type stoves

Our specifications for wood burning or pellet-type stoves stipulate they must be:

  • Approved by Underwriters Laboratories.
  • Installed on a fireproof pad and have an approved masonry-lined or Class A all-fuel chimney.
  • The only wood burning stove on your premises.
  • The only device attached to the chimney flue.
  • Meeting the manufacturer’s specifications for clearances. The clearances between the walls and the wood burning stove must be at least three feet.
  • Located in a room that has a working smoke alarm.
  • On the same floor that has a working fire extinguisher.

Your wood burning or pellet-type stove cannot be:

  • Located in a garage or detached building.
  • The primary source of heat for the home.
  • Located in a cabin or seasonal residence.

Safety issues

Tips for using your wood burning stove

  • Burn only wood or wood products that are intended for use as fuel for a wood burning stove.
  • Make sure the wood you burn has been seasoned or dried for at least six months.
  • Furniture and other combustible materials should be kept a safe distance from a wood burning stove.
  • Dispose of ashes in a closed metal container. This container should not be stored in the house or garage.
  • Never start a fire in your home with flammable fluids.
  • Don’t let a fire in your wood burning stove or fireplace burn unattended or overnight.

Safety inspection by an expert

If you have a home with a wood burning stove and would like a premium quote for home insurance, call our office at 1-800-279-4030. You will need to have your wood stove inspected.

After the inspection, we will notify you if your wood burning stove meets our guidelines and you’re eligible to obtain a home insurance policy with us.

This requirement does not apply to outdoor wood burning stoves located more than 25 feet from the home.

Encouraging responsible use

To encourage the safe and responsible use of your wood burning stove, the policy requires an annual inspection and cleaning of the stove. We will review pellet-type stoves every three years. If you have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a chimney sweep, the policy provides a unique benefit—reimbursement of up to $75 per year toward the cost of the inspection and cleaning.

WMBT 2758-290-1120 (W)

Effective November 2020. Policies and programs described are subject to change at any time.