Frances Badayos | author
ICHQ | Site Author
Not every house has a fireplace, but for those that do, a chimney adds an irreplaceable charm and literal warmth to a cozy home. Of course, having a fireplace means having a chimney that can be costly to maintain and repair without proper insurance.
In the event of leaks, fire damage or storm damage, you might find yourself asking if homeowners insurance covers chimney repair. At Insurance Claim HQ, we serve homeowners around Louisiana with home insurance claims and strive to help you understand the terms of your coverage.
We are ready to assist you at every step of the claims process for chimney damage, even if your insurer denies your initial claim.
When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Chimney Repair?
A core part of any homeowners insurance policy is dwelling coverage, which helps rebuild or repair the physical structures of your home, including the chimney. This means your homeowners insurance will cover damage to your chimney caused by a peril mentioned in your policy.
Commonly covered perils include:
- Fire damage
- Lightning strikes
- Falling trees and other objects
- Wind or storm damage
When it comes to covering chimney damage, your homeowners insurance policy will likely pay for the repairs, replacement, or even an entire rebuilding of the chimney if necessary. The policy also covers any cleanup or debris removal involved in the process. Of course, coverage of repair processes only applies if the original damage is the result of a covered peril.
If you are ever wondering if homeowners insurance covers chimney repair, you can always refer to your policy to confirm which types of perils and damages your insurance covers. Contact your insurer or an insurance claim lawyer for help understanding the terms of the policy.
What Types of Damage Might Not Be Covered?
Certain types of damage that might befall your chimney will not be coverable under a homeowners insurance policy or might be subject to further investigation on a case-by-case basis. For example, some insurance providers bundle hurricane or tornado policies separately, so damage to your chimney from these types of perils might not be covered under your standard homeowners insurance policy. Flood damage also typically requires a dedicated flood insurance policy.
Are chimney leaks covered by homeowners insurance?
If the cause of the leak is a covered peril, such as if a falling tree branch caused damage to nearby pipes, then the insurance company must compensate you when you file a claim. If the leak develops over time due to accumulating minor damage or normal wear and tear, homeowners insurance will likely not cover it.
Does homeowners insurance cover chimney repair for damage caused by gradual wear and tear?
Unfortunately, homeowners are out of luck when it comes to getting coverage for expected wear and tear to their chimneys. The same goes for any damage stemming from a structural defect or from a homeowner’s neglect to perform regular cleaning and maintenance.
How Should Homeowners Keep Their Chimney Maintained?
One of the biggest obstacles you might face when filing an insurance claim for chimney damage is an accusation from the insurer that you are guilty of neglecting chimney maintenance, and thus are complacent in the damages.
You can protect yourself from such accusations by regularly cleaning and maintaining the chimney so that insurance providers have no grounds to attempt to deny your claim.
Keep in mind that your insurer will not cover expected maintenance and upkeep. Even so, you should seek a professional chimney cleaning service at least once annually to keep everything in proper condition. Keep these receipts, as they can demonstrate you were having a professional perform work on your chimney. While insurance will not cover the costs of maintenance, regular cleaning can help improve the safety of your home and put you in a stronger position when negotiating a claim settlement.
Aside from an annual chimney cleaning, there are a few other essential good habits for maintaining your chimney. Be sure to have a functioning fireplace damper and keep the damper closed when not in use. Waterproofing the exterior of your chimney is another good idea, as is periodically checking that your waterproofing measures are still effective. Check the mortar and bricks for signs of crumbling and disrepair at the same time to handle smaller issues before they get out of hand.
How Can an Insurance Claim Lawyer Help With Your Chimney Repair Claim?
If you are in a situation where you aren’t sure if your chimney repair is covered by your home insurance, then odds are you could use an attorney’s help with a claim with your insurer. Ideally, you would receive the compensation you deserve for your chimney’s damages with minimum hassle.
However, insurance companies are in the business of making money and might maliciously turn the terms of your policy against you to justify denying your claim or offering a lowball settlement that does not fully cover your repair costs.
An insurance claim lawyer at our firm can make all the difference in helping you secure a fair outcome. Our attorneys understand the complexities of a homeowners insurance policy as well as your insurance provider, helping level the playing field for you during an overwhelming time.
At Insurance Claim HQ, our insurance claim lawyers help you by:
- Investigating the circumstances surrounding the damage to your home
- Helping you understand the terms of your insurance policy and the compensation you should expect
- Collecting evidence proving that the damage to your home is covered under your homeowners insurance policy
- Negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf
- Representing you in a bad faith action if necessary
Involving a lawyer early on in the process can be a prudent course of action, even before you begin speaking to the insurance company. Your attorney can help you with the initial claim filing and ensure accuracy and correctness every step of the way.
Contact Insurance Claim HQ About Your Home Insurance Questions
At Insurance Claim HQ, we embrace answering your questions and clearing away the mysteries surrounding homeowners insurance. If you want to learn more about whether homeowners insurance can cover your chimney repair or any other problem you might be experiencing with your home’s structure, we are ready to help. Call us today or reach out online to get in touch with our insurance claim lawyers serving New Orleans and nationwide.