When it comes to homeowners insurance covering chimney repair, there is good news and bad news. The good news is, damage that occurs as a result of a sudden, unexpected incident will usually be covered. The not-so-good news is that any damage resulting from normal wear and tear is typically never covered. To determine if you can claim the damage on your chimney, you must understand how your insurance policy offers coverage and we will help by outlining some common claims that are covered, some that are not, and tricks to increase your odds of homeowners insurance chimney repair help.

The two most popular cases we see when homeowners insurance covers chimney repair are:

  1. Chimney struck by lightening: The chimney (especially the chimney crown) is often the highest point of your house, and many chimneys are capped with a metal mesh of some kind. These can attract lightning, which damages the chimney.
  2. Chimney fire occurs: Chimneys can also be damaged from within, if a fire escapes the firebox and chars or cracks the interior of the flue.

What these two events have in common is that they are both sudden and unexpected. Though you should have coverage for damage from any of the listed or non-excluded perils in your policy, these tend to be the most common.

When will homeowners insurance NOT cover chimney repairs?

Your insurance will not typically get involved with issues due to the normal wear and tear of your chimney. Chimneys must be cleaned and maintained regularly to stay in proper working condition. Without proper maintenance, you may not even discover minor damage like flue cracks. If not repaired, minor damage can get worse and become a major expense to repair later on. Homeowner’s insurance for chimney repair excludes damage from lack of routine maintenance and normal wear and tear. Since many types of chimney damage occur with the normal passage of time, or because you didn’t maintain the chimney properly, many chimney claims get denied.

Claim Tips and Tricks

Although a homeowners’ insurance policy is all in writing, there is definitely some wiggle room on determining what will be covered and what will not, and this includes matters related to chimneys. Here are a few insider tips regarding chimney-related claims that have the ability to get paid, but easily may not have been:

  • If you have a claim-free history, have been with the insurance company for many years, and you have packaged insurance.
  • If a homeowner is rather unreasonable and pushy and refuses to give in to claim denial. This can create the sense of being too much hassle for the insurance company; so they pay.
  • If there is no solid proof that a sudden and unexpected event did not occur.

Ultimately, the final decision regarding you homeowners insurance chimney repair scope and when your chimney needs repair is determined by your insurance policy, the company you are insured with, and the agent you work with on a claim. Your chimney is an often overlooked, but an extremely important component of your home. It is responsible for safely exhausting the fireplace, as well as the gases from your heating systems. Wondering if your chimney is in need of repairs? Call us at 317.500.1250 for a maintenance check-up or request an appointment today!