Some insurance companies may require that certain items be tested, upgraded, and/or replaced before they will issue or renew coverage under a homeowners insurance policy. A couple of the areas that are of concern are wood-burning stoves and fuel oil tanks.
Wood-burning stoves can pose a serious fire hazard if improperly installed or used incorrectly. To mitigate any potential risk, your insurance company may ask that the stove be inspected by a certified Wood Energy Technical Training (WETT) technician and certified by the Underwriters’ Laboratories of Canada (ULC), Canadian Standard Association (CSA) before providing coverage.
Fuel oil tanks that are 25 years or older are highly susceptible to rusting, deterioration and leakage and are considered environmental hazards. Should a leak occur and not be detected, the cost of the cleanup can be huge. A leak as small as a pinhole can spill 750 litres of oil in eight hours and cost up to $15,000 to remedy. To obtain coverage from the insurance company, you may be required to replace an older fuel oil tank with a gas or electrical furnace.
Owners or buyers of older homes should be aware of these issues and be prepared to invest in changes required by insurance companies.