insurance cover for fire caused by woodburner

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13 years 2 months ago #17783 by celt
Does anyone know if you have had a woodburner installed by an authorised installer but without a building permit for it and that woodburner caused a fire would your insurance company pay out.

1 kiwi husband, 14 year old boy girl twins. Gave up my beautiful 16 acres north of auckland for 1000m2 in central christchurch! Yikes. Plan to get as much produce out of that 1000m2 as possible.

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13 years 2 months ago #264178 by reggit
Was the fire caused by the way it was installed...??

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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13 years 2 months ago #264195 by Isla
Talk to your insurer. We stipulated that ours was installed by the people we bought it from and that we had a letter to that effect and they have insured on that basis.

The house hasn't burnt down yet, so I can't comment on whether or not they'd come through in that event. [;)]

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13 years 2 months ago #264201 by Istrian
Insurance companies invariably find any excuse to reject a claim. I would be in touch with my insurance company/broker & advise them that I have a wood fire installed & ask them if there are any conditions on their side. Get the answer in writing or they will deny any knowledge of your call.

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13 years 2 months ago #264202 by DiDi
Tigger's comment (assuming this is what you are thinking tigger) is totally valid in that if the installation complied with the specifications of the fireplace manufacturer and would have complied with a resource consent application then by rights it should not be a problem. However you can bet your boots it will be or a long winded argument with the Underwriters.

Most insurance Companies now have their policies on-line so you can read them. The exclusions under House (as it is a fixed item) is what you need to read. What you need to be looking for as part of that is if there is conditions on consent, keeping the fireplace in working order and risk free - in effect - having it swept on a regular 1 or two year period. If you can't find this info on line then you don't have much chice other than to go to your Insurance Company and just make a claim - bearing in mind your excess. Hell they may not even ask if the fireplace had resource consent. What the hell is that all about anyway? If you have complied with the specifications, used a Licenced Fireplace installer, why the income generating nonsense for the Council?

One last port of call will be the installer. He should have Liability Insurance but by rights he should not have installed it without Consent so probably not covered by his insurance company.

I arrived home from an Easter Break and found a bird in my fireplace! I have chickenwire over the top so how the hell... the chicken wire was broken. The cute bird screamed blue murder as I reached in to get it and set it free but a good reminder to get the chimney sweep in asap.

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13 years 2 months ago #264204 by organicltd
You don't need resource consent, but you do need a permit from the council.

If by chance you do happen to have a fire in you flue or chimney of your wood burner, the best way to put it out is to sprinkle water onto the wood in the firebox. The steam will put out the fire up the chimney. We had this happen years ago, the fire brigade were called and this was all they did.

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....against tables, chairs, floors, walls and ugly people.

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13 years 2 months ago #264206 by DiDi
Correction - yes O - you are right - a Permit! So why do we need a permit? My fireplace complies 100% with the Building Code or whatever and was installed by a licenced Fireplace Installer so why do I need to pay Council for their permission to do this? Rort as far as I am concerned unless you can tell us why it is necessary. What would the Council find to refuse in those circumstances? Very confusing.

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13 years 2 months ago #264219 by Jack
Gidday

DiDi you are right about it being a rip off but the simple fact is that insurance co's will require you to have a consent or they won't pay out I believe.

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13 years 2 months ago #264228 by Dream Weaver
Knowing councils these days, they want to make alot of money and yes I am pretty sure a permit is needed. (Hubbys not here to ask)
I was also told that if a house caught fire because of a woodburner then the insurance companies can ask for a certificate to show the flue had been swept by approved person. we get ours done yearly and they do give us a signed certificate.

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13 years 2 months ago #264230 by Birman Babe
My friends have just had a new one put in their place and they had to have an council inspection after the installation. So, no, the insurance co. probably would pay out if you didnt have said inspection done. There are heaps of new rules re wood burners.

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13 years 2 months ago #264238 by Pumpkingirl
You do need a building permit to put a fireplace into a new building or to retro-fit/replace one into an existing house. In a new building, you would not get your Code Compliance without a permit, so I would think if that were the case, you would not be covered by your insurance company. Interestingly, my installer was pre-approved by the local council so no inspection was required (although the nit picky bugger doing my COC did anyway).

The fee for my permit was $75, and that money had to be included (by law) in the retail price of the fireplace - so you pay for the permit regardless (unless you are buying it privately and don't intend to obey the building code when you install it by getting the relevant permit).

While I don't like ridiculous rules, it was very interesting to see just what was required, both of us as builders, and of the installer. Special gib had to be used around the backing, there had to be ventilation gaps, wood for things, steel for others - all for safety reasons, and having done it, I could see why they are so insistent.

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13 years 2 months ago #264257 by celt
Tigger haven't had a fire, touch wood. We are having renovations done and plans that went to council showed a fire facing into the kitchen dining area. We decided half way thro the reno that we wanted to change the position of the fire to face into the lounge area so the position of the fire is moving about a metre and facing the other way. We are going to put a new fire in a Firenzo Contessa. Anyway happy to have an proper installer, install it but am annoyed that I have to pay our council $380 for the privilege. So was wondering what my options were if we were unlucky enough to have a fire in the woodburner.

1 kiwi husband, 14 year old boy girl twins. Gave up my beautiful 16 acres north of auckland for 1000m2 in central christchurch! Yikes. Plan to get as much produce out of that 1000m2 as possible.

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13 years 2 months ago #264261 by reggit
Celt, I wouldn't risk it. $380 is a lot, but so is losing your whole house to a fire (heaven forbid) and the insurance not paying out...I am surprised the council is charging that much to changing plans while renovations are happening, I would question that.

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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13 years 2 months ago #264274 by Pumpkingirl
Celt, I would also be very loud and not paying such a ridiculous amount of money without knowing exactly what the charge is for and why it is so high.

I made quite a few changes to my official permitted plans, one quite large, and the most I had to pay was $75, because the change took the inspector about an hour to check the details with an engineer and muck about. I can't imagine what you would be changing that would cost you what for me would have been more than 10% of my entire building permit fee!

I had all sorts of crap told to me by inspectors, by other council staff, by engineers and even by the guy who wanted to sell me a fireplace. It sounded wrong to me when they said it, and checking on all occasions showed it to be wrong. The council also tried to charge me extra fees for something, and when I told them it was unreasonable, they rechecked it and found several mistakes. Ended up paying $0 for that one!

Question everything, even experts, even inspectors. My on-site inspector never made a mistake but the ones in the office were corrected (by little old, no-nothing me) on four separate occasions. And I'm not a builder, nor particularly bright.

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13 years 2 months ago #264342 by celt
don't know where you live pumpkin girl but it is not rodney? My fees for a 75m2 garage and connecting corridor are wait for it $2k for resource consent because we are in an area of "special interest" yeah right, OK its pretty with lots of top grade native bush etc but..... The building consent application fee was $6k and when we finally got the consent they asked for an extra $700 for having to check engineering thingys that my architect said were already there. Complained but got nowhere. Any amendment to plan costs $350. A separate building consent for a woodburner is $380 ish. People wonder why there is lots of illegal building work going on. The building consent process is ludicrous here not as bad as france, italy, spain but we are getting there.

1 kiwi husband, 14 year old boy girl twins. Gave up my beautiful 16 acres north of auckland for 1000m2 in central christchurch! Yikes. Plan to get as much produce out of that 1000m2 as possible.

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