What You Need to Know When Filing a Chimney Damage Insurance Claim
Homeowner’s insurance companies will cover many types of chimney damage. Many other types of damage will be denied. If your chimney has suffered damage, your insurance carrier will outline in detail the damages your homeowner’s policy will pay for.
Chimney Saver Solutions of Richmond, VA, performs a lot of chimney repairs that are part of insurance claims as well as repairs the homeowner pays for. Here are some things that will be helpful to know when it comes to chimney damage and homeowner’s insurance.
Unexpected Chimney Damage Usually Is Covered
Most homeowner’s insurance policies are written to cover “unexpected” damages to a chimney system. Causes of this kind of damage include:
- High-powered wind storms
- Lightning strikes
- Falling trees and branches
- Pounding hail
- Some chimney fires
These and similar causes are considered unexpected because the homeowner didn’t directly cause them and generally couldn’t have prevented them.
Types of Chimney Damage Homeowner’s Insurance Won’t Cover
On the other side, there’s damage that’s considered “expected” and usually stems from the homeowner’s neglect to properly maintain and care for his or her chimney.
When a chimney system is left alone, problems invariably appear, some sooner than later. Insurance companies place the responsibility on the homeowner to have the chimney cleaned and inspected on a regular basis and to arrange in a timely manner for needed repair work.
Chimney damage from neglect shows up in
many ways including:
- Deteriorated bricks and mortar
- A leaning chimney
- A collapsed chimney
- Damaged chimney liner
- Widespread water damage from leaks
- Chimney fires due to excess creosote buildup
- Cracked and decayed concrete chimney crown
- Damaged chimney cap, chase top, flashing
- Rusted fireplace damper
Homeowner’s insurance carriers usually are not willing to pay for chimney issues that could have been prevented. However, you won’t know specifically what your provider will and won’t cover until you either closely read your policy or speak with an agent.
Keep Your Chimney in Fine Shape with these 3 Steps
You can avoid serious “expected” chimney damage by being proactive and making sure your chimney system is well-cared for.
- Schedule annual chimney sweeping
Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps have the tools and expertise to safely remove flammable creosote from your chimney flue. Annual chimney cleaning greatly reduces the chance of recurring chimney fires.
- Have your chimney inspected once a year
Along with cleaning, chimneys should be professionally inspected once a year to uncover early signs of damage and malfunction so they can be addressed before they become serious and possibly dangerous.
- Perform repairs when they’re needed
Never put off chimney repairs, no matter how “insignificant” they may seem. Minor damage very often progresses to complicated and expensive damage.
Get a Second Opinion on Chimney Repairs
Chimney Saver Solutions is happy to provide you with a second opinion or estimate on chimney repair work that you’re filing with your homeowner’s insurance company.
A qualified second opinion can save money and help put the repair job into perspective. We may agree with your first appraisal; then again, we might find areas in the estimate that are questionable or unnecessary.
Speak with a Richmond, VA, chimney expert today at (804) 440-5000 and get on the road to a strong, healthy chimney that doesn’t let you down.