What Kind of Chimney Repairs Will Homeowner’s Insurance Cover?
If you have a damaged chimney and homeowner’s insurance, your first question will be, does my policy cover these repairs? Homeowner’s insurance does, in fact, cover many different types of chimney repairs – depending on the cause of the damage. That’s what separates coverable problems from those the homeowner will have to pay for.
Insurance-Covered Chimney Problems
Most insurance carriers build into their policies coverage for “unexpected” events. These are things that happen over which you have little or no control.
Unexpected chimney damage can come from:
- Powerful winds
- Trees and branches falling due to a storm
- Hail storms
- Lightning strikes
- Some chimney fires
These and related events are considered unexpected.
“Expected” Chimney Damage Insurance Usually Won’t Cover
When writing a homeowner’s policy, insurance companies assume that you, the policyholder, will take prudent steps to prevent what could be called “unnecessary” damage.
Our chimney repair crews regularly inspect chimneys and find various types of damage that could have been prevented, had the homeowner taken the right steps. Damage that should be expected if your chimney is neglected might include:
- Major chimney fires caused by excess creosote
- Localized house fires caused by cracked or broken chimney liners
- Severe crumbling and deterioration of bricks and mortar
- Chimney leaning to one side
- Collapse of all or parts of the chimney structure
- Serious water damage from faulty masonry, chimney crowns, chimney flashing and chimney caps
- Interior damage due to years of acidic creosote buildup
If these or similar events occur, a homeowner’s insurance policy carrier may elect to deny the claim on the grounds that the issue should have and could have been prevented by the homeowner.
You Can Prevent a Lot of Chimney Damage
Insurance is in place to protect you when unexpected things happen. You can’t always prevent these occurrences, but you definitely can prevent chimney damage from neglect.
Here are three steps you can start taking right now:
- Have your chimney repaired when it’s needed
Don’t put off minor repairs – they won’t resolve themselves. If your chimney is damaged or functioning improperly, let us take a look to discover what’s wrong and get the problem resolved.
- Keep your flue clean
Annual chimney sweep services by CSIA-certified chimney sweeps are the best way to remove flammable creosote and greatly reduce the risk of a chimney fire and internal chimney damage.
- Schedule yearly chimney inspections
A basic chimney inspection each year will alert you to early signs of trouble that could become major and dangerous down the line if neglected.
Do You Need a Second Opinion on Chimney Repairs?
Whether you’re working with your insurance carrier for a chimney damage claim or you’re self-paying, it’s a smart idea to get a qualified second opinion on specifically what’s wrong with your chimney and what will be needed to resolve it.
We offer free, no-obligation second opinions and estimates to help you put your chimney issues into perspective. We’ll let you know if we think a previous estimate is way too high – or way too low, and we’ll go over in detail the tasks we believe are necessary to solve any chimney problem.
Get an expert second opinion or learn more about chimney repair, inspection and cleaning by calling High’s Chimney Service today at (301) 519-3500.