Does Having a Fireplace Increase Home Insurance?

Caeva O'Callaghan | June 20th, 2022

Having an open fireplace makes a home feel warm and cosy. But will it increase your home insurance?

No. Having a fireplace will not result in a higher home insurance premium. In fact, insurance companies don’t even ask whether your home has an open fire or stove. It is not a rating factor.

However, if your home is damaged due to fire, your premium may rise as a result. The risks associated with having a working fireplace in your home should never be ignored.

In this article, we’ll cover the following questions:

  • Does my home insurance cover my fireplace?
  • Does my home insurance cover fire brigade call out charges?
  • What types of fire are covered by home insurance?

In order to stay safe, make sure you know how to operate a fireplace and store your fuel and logs in a dry spot away from open flames.

Does my home insurance cover my fireplace?

Yes. As they are part of your home’s structure, your fireplace and your chimney will be covered by your buildings insurance policy.

Insurance policies only cover unexpected or “sudden” damage, such as if you have accidental damage cover. Insurance providers will never cover issues that derive from average wear and tear. So, if you fail to regularly sweep your chimney or maintain your fireplace and damage arises as a result, your home insurance will not cover it. Even worse, this neglect may pose a fire risk in itself.

If your home has a thatched roof or has had a wood burning stove installed, then your insurance provider may have strict rules about maintaining the stove and chimney. Always read the small print in your policy documents to know where you stand.

Does my home insurance cover fire brigade call out charges?

If you’re in a situation where you need to call emergency services, the last thing on your mind should be insurance paperwork. All home insurance companies cover fire brigade call-out charges, but as fire brigade call-out costs vary from county to county you should check beforehand how much your insurance company will give you.

For example, Liberty Insurance, Zurich and FBD will cover fees up to €2,000 while the maximum payout from Axa will be €2,600.

All it takes is a quick call to your home insurance, and they will let you know how much you’re covered for.

As soon as the fire brigade leaves, you will need to notify your insurance provider of what happened. They will then will assign a loss adjuster to your case. They will deal with your claim, and probably come to inspect your property. It’s important you move and change as little as possible, so they can accurately assess the damage.

The loss adjuster should be present when you sort your belongings to find out what is lost and what can be saved. This is so they can provide you with an accurate reimbursement figure.

What types of fire are covered by home insurance?

All fires are covered by home insurance, unless you have set fire to your house on purpose or the fire has happened as a direct result of your own negligence. 

Chimney fires are one of the leading causes of fire damage to homes in Ireland. Your buildings insurance policy will normally cover these, but check the policy wording to make sure. These fires happen often, especially in colder weather, as many people don’t know how important it is to keep a chimney clean.

When creosote – a highly combustible substance formed as a result of condensed smoke – builds up on the inside of your flue, it can ignite. Always have your chimney professionally cleaned, every year. A fire like this can cause structural damage to your home, which could result in a large claim on your home insurance policy and will cause an increase in premium.

Even if your small son decides to play with matches under the box spring, for example, accidental fires will be covered by your home insurance policy.

A house fire is never a pleasant thing to deal with, but it’s good to know where you stand on insurance terms when you have a fireplace in your home. If you have any more questions, give us a call and we can give you friendly advice and a quote. We are available for phone calls between 8.30am and 5.30pm each weekday on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051. We look forward to helping you today.

All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.