A firepit can enhance your backyard, but before you buy, make sure you understand how it will affect your home insurance coverage.

Does Having A Firepit Increase Your Insurance?June 29, 2021

Firepits can make an excellent addition to your backyard. They help create a relaxing and cozy area where you can enjoy the fresh air and have good times with friends and family.  The setup can be as minimal or extravagant as you want them to be, making them an upgrade that works for any budget.

Homeowners in Canada looking to add a firepit to their backyard will need to find out how this new addition to their property will affect their homeowner’s insurance and anticipate any significant changes once the firepit is set up.

 

Why You Should Consider Adding a Firepit to Your Property

If the recent events of 2020 and 2021 have taught us anything, it has shown us that we can find ways to stay entertained without going out and socializing in large crowds. Those who already had a firepit in their backyard during lockdown had access to a sanctuary where they could watch wildlife, dine outdoors, and host small gatherings that followed the rules of social distancing. Well, at least for the warmer months in Canada.

Firepits are the ideal addition to your property if you love the outdoors. They bring back memories of sitting around a campfire and provide the perfect space where you can share stories with others or take in some quiet time on your own. They can also improve your home’s resale value which can be beneficial if you ever plan to place your property on the market. However, there are a few things you should consider before you decide to purchase a firepit.

 

Is it Legal to Have a Firepit in Your Area?

It can vary from one municipality to the next. In some areas, it may depend on what type of fire is allowed. Based on Insurance Bureau of Canada statements, it’s necessary to ask yourself if there are any bylaws you will need to follow and abide by if firepits are banned in your area. Those are two things all homeowners should be aware of before they purchase a firepit.

In Toronto, open-air burning is not allowed. That only leaves you the options of wood cooking fires or firepits that use either natural gas or propane. These firepits must also be certified by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority. It is best to check with your local municipality beforehand to ensure the one you have in mind is allowed where you live.

You can get in touch with your local municipality by calling them, emailing, or searching their website. When doing so, you can find out if you need a permit for a firepit and any situations you should be aware of in terms of what materials to use or spacing.

 

Does Your Home Insurance Policy Cover a Firepit?

That depends on several factors. Your homeowner’s policy is made up of three sections:

 

1. Building

2. Contents

3. Liability

 

These takes care of any damage to the property, the building, and the contents inside. It also helps protect you with liability coverage if someone is injured on your property.

Another part of homeowners insurance is the additional living expenses. This provides coverage if there is a fire and you cannot live at your home while it is being reconstructed. The coverage will pay for your accommodations to live elsewhere until you can go back to your home once again.

Small firepits are easy to move and would be considered personal property by most insurers. It would be best to review the liability coverage for your current policy or contact your agent to determine who would be legally responsible if a guest at your home was injured or burned from the firepit.

Your agent can also provide you with insight on whether or not the coverage would pay for damages caused to your neighbor’s property from a fire.

 

How Does a Firepit and Other Upgrades Affect Your Home Insurance Policy?

A firepit and other upgrades to your backyard will affect your homeowner’s insurance policy in more ways than one.

 

It Affects Your Home’s Value

Any change made to your backyard increases the value of the property. Therefore, you always need to update your insurer about any change you make to your property, including a firepit. If you don’t update them, you could lose out if an incident occurs.

 

Increase of Risk

Any upgrade to your home that increases the risk of harm, injury, or damage to yourself, other members of your household or guests, should be reported to your insurance provider. Any upgrade like this could increase your risk as a homeowner, and you will want to ensure you have the right coverage in place if an accident were to happen.

 

It can Affect Your Premium

There is a good possibility that your premium will go up when you add a firepit. This is especially true if you add a large firepit or one that will be a permanent fixture in your backyard. Your premium will go up because you will need a higher coverage limit based on your home value. That’s because if you need to rebuild or replace your property, it will cost more to do so after you add on a firepit or other additions.

 

Can You Have a Firepit if you Rent Your Property?

Renters interested in adding a firepit or similar item to their backyard will need to first check with their landlord to find out if they have permission to do so. The landlord is usually responsible for handling repairs to building structures and all that is attached to them.

A firepit, even if it’s not a permanent one, can add risk. If you don’t inform your landlord of this upgrade or add one before you speak with them about it first, you may be held responsible for any accidents or injuries that occur. To protect yourself and others, talk to your landlord about this property upgrade first and find out if your tenant insurance should be updated.

 

Learn More About how Property Upgrades can Affect Your Home Insurance Policy

If you would like to learn more about how having a firepit will increase your insurance, get in touch with our agents here at Duliban Insurance Brokers today. We have the knowledge and experience needed to provide you with more insight into how upgrades like a firepit can affect your homeowner’s insurance. Contact us today for more details.

We look forward to helping you and answering any questions you may have.

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