Insurance Claims for Chimney Leak Damage
It’s natural to check your homeowner’s insurance coverage when expensive chimney repairs are needed, to see whether chimney damage is covered in the policy. Typically, chimneys aren’t specifically dealt with as part of a homeowner’s policy. Instead, policies describe applicable damages to the entire house, including but not limited to the chimney. A general way to understand most home coverage is to recognize that if a certain type of damage (storm damage) would be covered for any other part of your house, that same type of damage should be covered for your chimney.
What is Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance?
Usually, the insurance policy for a home covers property damage caused by sudden and unforeseen events. Such events include flash floods, fires, wind damage, and lightning strikes. If there were a leaky chimney, the insurance company would investigate the damage and evidence surrounding the claim. Home insurance policies often exclude damage caused as a result of normal wear and tear or poor maintenance.
Insurance Claims for Sudden Events
If your chimney suddenly and with no warning had a serious water leak, the circumstance may qualify as an unforeseen event in a typical homeowner’s policy. It would be important to gather documentation for your claim that includes photographs and the cause of the event, which might be a lightning strike or heavy storm. It would help to contact a chimney professional to inspect and diagnose the cause of the chimney leak and provide an estimate for the cost of chimney repair.
Lack of Maintenance
If a chimney leak occurs and is found to be caused by lack of proper maintenance or neglect, the homeowner’s insurance company will deny the claim. Property owners have a responsibility to keep up with needed chimney repairs. If there is evidence of chimney damage or a water leak in your home, it must be addressed without delay. A chimney-related claim may be paid by the insurance company if there is evidence of diligence about repairing any problems that arise.
Chimneys and Moisture
Even if a chimney cap is installed at the top of the flue, chimneys are vulnerable to moisture. Bricks are highly porous; and the exterior chimney is subject to rain, snow, and every sort of inclement weather. The metal flashing tends to rust, resulting in a leaky chimney. Mortar between the masonry can begin to break off, and the mortar on the chimney crown often develops cracks, resulting in water-damaged chimney masonry.
It’s important for homeowners to schedule annual inspections so that any new damage can be quickly repaired, to avoid major chimney damage. With all that could go wrong, it’s important for homeowners to recognize the level of diligence needed to prevent costly chimney damage. That same diligence could help to ensure coverage by the homeowner’s policy, if damage occurs suddenly and for a reason other than lack of maintenance.
Contact Chimney Saver Solutions
For chimney inspections, chimney cleaning, and repair by trusted professionals, contact Chimney Saver Solutions. Our chimney technicians are trained and certified, and you can expect high-quality service. Contact Chimney Saver Solutions today at 804-440-5000.