While a chimney is an essential part of any home that has a fireplace or wood stove, it’s also a potential hazard that can cause extensive damage to your home if not well maintained. The cost of repairing or replacing a damaged chimney can be significant, so you may be wondering if your homeowners insurance policy covers these damages. Although most standard homeowners insurance policies cover some types of chimney damage, it’s important to understand which instances are covered and which aren’t.
As a general rule, homeowners insurance policies are less likely to cover damage if it occurred due to a lack of maintenance and upkeep. Alternatively, events like lightning strikes and unpreventable chimney fires may be covered under your policy. In this article, we’ll discuss whether your homeowners insurance covers chimney damage and the steps you can take to protect your home.
When does homeowners insurance cover chimney damage?
When it comes to chimney damage, homeowners insurance coverage can vary depending on the specific circumstances and policy. Homeowners insurance typically covers chimney damage when it’s caused by a sudden and unexpected event. Dwelling coverage is one of the six protections included in a standard home insurance policy. This coverage includes chimney repairs in certain instances, which are:
- Damage because of a fallen tree: If a tree falls because of a natural disaster or extreme weather, homeowners insurance typically covers the cost of necessary chimney repairs and tree removal.
- Damage because of a lightning strike: Fire damage as a result of a lightning strike is typically covered by homeowners insurance. This includes repairing a chimney collapse and replacing any lost bricks or other materials.
- Damage because of a chimney fire: Explain that if your wood stove or fireplace causes an unexpected fire, you can usually expect your homeowner’s insurance policy to cover the cost of repairs.
It’s important to note that if a chimney fire or other incident took place because of a lack of maintenance or care, insurance may not cover the damage and repairs.
Occasions When Homeowners Insurance Doesn’t Cover Chimney Damage
Damage as a result of wear and tear, old age and lack of routine maintenance are generally not covered by insurance, so it’s important to stay on top of your chimney’s upkeep and cleaning. Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover the cost of repairs if your chimney is due for a necessary upgrade and you’ve failed to make the required improvements.
Many types of chimney damage can occur over the course of the time you spend in your home, so an insurance company may deny your claim if they feel as if you could have prevented the damage from occurring. For example, if you’ve noticed that your chimney has been leaning for several weeks or months and it all of a sudden collapses, it’s unlikely that homeowners insurance will cover the cost of the replacement and repairs.
Some policies may have specific exclusions or limitations when it comes to chimney repairs, so it’s always a good idea to review your policy and consult with your insurance agent to clarify any doubts.
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