What Type of Heating System do I have in my Home?

The type of heating system in your home can be a large factor in determining the cost of your home insurance premium. There are three important parts of the heating system:

  • The energy source - gas, electricity, oil, etc
  • The machine -  furnace, boiler, heat pump, etc
  • The distribution - forced air, radiant, baseboard, etc

Let's look at each part of and understand how each component could change the cost of your home insurance. 

The Energy Source

US households by energy source:

In general, when it comes to home insurance, you will get a discount for electricity or natural gas. Oil will cost extra. If you use wood as your primary heat source, many home insurance carriers will flat out reject coverage. 

The Machine

Insurance companies do not like portable electric heaters. As you can imagine, these devices have a history of creating bad claim situations, namely starting a fire.

When it comes to furnaces and heaters, you can see cases of puffback claims. This is where the heating system does not ignite properly and allows oil or gas vapors to build up within the combustion chamber - internal explosion is covered in your home insurance. Claims can also arise from pipes freezing or electrical surges - both covered in your home insurance policy. You should get a professional to inspect your heating system about once every year to ensure everything is operating normally. 

Your home insurance will not cover replacing your heating system when it gets too old - normal wear and tear is never covered in a home insurance policy. 

The Distribution

You will probably see a surcharge for radiant heating and hot water baseboards. In general, insurance carriers like the forced air system, because it keeps the really hot portion of the heating system away from people in the home. Also, with hot water baseboards, there is always the risk of a water leak causing damage - be sure to check for leaks regularly if you have these in your home. 

Hopefully you have a better understanding of how your home is heated and how it will affect your home insurance costs. 

At your service,
Young Alfred

image source: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/home-heating-systems