Will Homeowners Insurance Cover My Chimney Repairs?

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Creative Commons
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Creative Commons

A question we are often asked is “Do you think my insurance will cover these chimney repairs?”

While we’re not professional insurance adjusters and one can never be certain unless they ask, it’s been our experience that most homeowners insurance policies do NOT cover the majority of our chimney sweep and repair services. In this blog, we’ll take you through instances in which something may or may not be covered. Please note: Our opinions here are in no way the final answer on what your insurance company may cover when it comes to your chimney, as there are many different types of policies available.

Will insurance cover routine chimney inspections?

The short answer to this question is a most definite no. Insurance companies see it as a homeowner’s responsibility to keep up with annual chimney inspections and needed cleanings and repairs. It’s during these annual inspections where certified chimney sweeps can identify and repair small chimney problems before they become big chimney issues.

If you neglect to schedule annual chimney inspections, it’s possible you’ll end up stuck with a much larger repair bill that your insurance company will have no interest in helping pay.

Will insurance cover common chimney repairs?

Common chimney work like masonry repair, damper repair or chimney cover replacement in general are not covered by homeowners’ insurance policies. When the repairs are part of normal wear and tear insurance companies again see this as a homeowner’s responsibility in operating the fireplace and chimney safely. The same can be said for any structural work that may be needed on your chimney. For instance, if your chimney is leaning to one side, that’s a sign that its structure is failing. Generally, work to repair a chimney structure is not covered.

So, what will insurance cover when it comes to a chimney?

In our experience, insurance companies only will cover chimney repairs caused by sudden, unexpected catastrophic events. These events include lightning strikes, chimney fires or damage incurred by heavy winds that may cause a tree to damage your chimney. Unfortunately high winds that damage your chimney on their own won’t be enough to trigger an insurance claim, as chimney’s should be structurally sound enough to hold up to high winds.

When it comes to lightning strikes and chimney fires, those are clearly sudden and unexpected. Despite the fact that issues that may lead to a chimney fire may be caused by homeowner neglect, insurance companies will normally cover damage caused by a chimney fire because of its sudden nature.

If you are making a chimney insurance claim, be thorough

As we’ve stated previously, every insurance company is different and there are a countless variations to homeowners; policies. If you have what you think may be a good case for chimney repairs that could be covered, our best advice is to gather and keep detailed and careful documentation. This includes photos, detailed estimates from certified chimney sweep and repair companies and all receipts for past repairs.

About Fox Valley Chimney Sweep Valley Chimney Sweep and Restoration

Valley Chimney is a family-owned and operated chimney cleaning and restoration company that has serviced over 25,000 chimneys since our founding in 1978. Our clients are located in Chicago’s western suburbs and receive top quality services from our team of Certified Chimney Sweeps™.

We offer a wide range of professional chimney services. For over 40 years, our goal has been to make residential chimneys safer to use for you and your family. With constantly updated skills, techniques and the latest equipment, our goal is to reduce chimney hazards and to be your Chimney Sweep for Life.

 

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“It is not often that I can speak highly about customer service experience, but I'm more than happy to write this review. I highly recommend Valley Chimney Sweep & Restoration. They restored my chimney that was crumbling after a different company 'fixed' it - and did an amazing job. Great service from start to finish with a 10 year masonry warranty. Thanks guys!”

‐ Sharon R.

Naperville, IL

8940 D Route 34
Yorkville, IL 60560

(630) 553-5995

valleychimneyinfo@gmail.com

Service over 40,000 clients across the western suburbs of Chicago