Will My Homeowner’s Insurance Pay for Chimney Repairs?
A lot of Maryland homeowners ask this question: after all, they’re paying every month on their insurance policies, so shouldn’t those policies take care of a seriously damaged chimney?
Let’s look at this topic more closely.
Chimney Damage that’s Usually Covered by Insurance
All types of insurance, from vehicle to medical to homeowner’s, are intended to protect you against the unexpected. All kinds of things can come up in life that you weren’t planning on, and insurance usually will pick up the tab.
However, other things can come up – and now we’re talking specifically about chimneys – that are considered “inevitable” by homeowner’s insurance providers. Those things typically aren’t covered.
Chimneys can suffer damage for many different reasons. Those that are “unexpected” and therefore usually covered by insurance include:
- Falling trees and branches during a storm or
other natural event
- Hurricanes, typhoons and tornados
- Pounding hail storms
- Some chimney fires
These and similar events can’t be predicted and aren’t inevitable in the strictest sense.
Conversely, some chimney damage are considered by insurance carriers to be preventable and normally will fall outside their coverage parameters.
Types of Chimney Damage Homeowner’s Insurance Won’t Cover
Damage that comes from neglect will not be covered by most insurance providers. Examples include:
- Not having flammable creosote regularly cleaned from your chimney flue
- Obvious long-term water damage to bricks and mortar
- Obvious long term masonry damage for reasons other than water
- Chimneys that have never had a professional inspection
- Chimneys that have had few if any proper repairs over the years
Of course, there is a lot of gray area when it comes to what an insurance provider will consider “neglect” vs. “natural and unexpected,” so it’s always best to read your policy closely and consult with your provider if you’re not clear on the particulars.
How to Keep Your Chimney in Shape
Compete Chimneys of Pasadena, MD, performs a lot of chimney repairs every year that could have been prevented with a little time and attention. Here are our suggestions for keeping your chimney in safe and working order:
- Schedule yearly chimney sweeping services from a CSIA-certified chimney sweep. Our technicians carry professional certifications from the Chimney Safety Institute of America.
- Schedule yearly chimney inspections so we can spot early signs of damage and malfunction and get the issue repaired before a serious problem exists.
- Have repair work done when needed – never put it off, because chimney damage only gets worse if neglected.
Get a Second Opinion
The Complete Chimneys crew is happy to provide you with an additional estimate, whether you’re running your chimney repairs through your homeowner’s insurance carrier or handling them yourself. We’ll also supply a second opinion on any work you’ve been told needs to be done.
Second opinions and additional estimates can save you time, money and hassle. Not all chimney repair companies are created equal, so it’s always smart to get some feedback from a local, experienced team with years of hands-on chimney repair experience.
If your chimney needs help, or if you want professional advice or an estimate for chimney repairs, call us today at (410) 544-7600. We never charge for second opinions or estimates, and there is never an obligation to hire us.