In recent years fire pits have become increasingly popular. Of course we enjoy the company of our guests partnered with a beautiful outdoor fire pit, but during the wintertime, there’s just something warm about sitting by the fire talking with friends and family.
While many homeowners get caught up in designing their new fire pit, they don’t always give a second thought as to how it might affect their homeowners insurance, but it’s essential to take the appropriate precautions before and after it’s built.
Step 1: Check with local officials. Before you go all out on a brand new extravagant fire pit, make sure you’re allowed to have one on your property. To understand your local rules and regulations, call your local fire department. It’s also a good idea to check with your homeowners association to see if there are any rules against them. While allowed in many areas around Alabama, it never hurts to check before making the investment.
Step 2: Review your coverage limits. While your fire pit is typically going to be covered under your homeowners policy in your other structures coverage, you want to ensure you have adequate limits should something happen. With typical property coverage at 10% for other structures, you’ll want to calculate how much insurance would pay if it were to cause damage to your property and ensure that amount is what it needs to be.
At the same time, you’ll want to look at your liability coverage on your homeowners policy. When there’s fire involved, there’s always the risk of someone getting hurt, and now is the time to ensure you have enough coverage for any medical bills that may result from injuries caused by the fire pit.
Step 3: Practice fire safety. Even though there are many things to remember when it comes to having a safe, contained fire, it all begins with common sense. That includes checking the wind and weather conditions prior to starting a fire, closely supervising young children and pets, and always, always keeping a fire extinguisher nearby.
Whether you’re just starting to consider building a fire pit, or you did it years ago, it’s never too late to make sure you’re properly covered by your homeowners policy. A fire pit can greatly increase your exposures and risks, and therefore, having the right coverage in place is definitely worth a second thought.
Byars|Wright, Inc.. is a locally owned and operated independent insurance agency with four offices in the greater Birmingham area that has developed into a major provider of commercial and personal insurance. Since 1946, the agency has made acquisitions to expand its scope of business and delivers a wide-range of insurance products with quality coverage at competitive prices. Byars|Wright has been designated a Best Practices Agency by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America and was also named “Best Companies to Work For in Alabama” by Business Alabama in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Byars|Wright, Where Relationships Matter. www.byarswright.com.