There is no clear answer to this question, The short story of it all says that it totally depends on your insurance and the circumstances involved. To assist you with navigating this tricky matter, we have written up some answers to common questions that we receive.
When is chimney repair covered by home insurance?
Chimney repair is typically covered when there is an unexpected or sudden event that causes damage to the structure. Every day wear and tear however is not covered. However, these two scenarios are not always isolated, and exceptions can usually be made.
Normal Cases of Covered Chimney Repair. The following examples are two classic instances of when your insurance company will cover the costs of your chimney repairs.
- When the top of your chimney is struck by lightning.
- When an event takes place and a chimney fire causes damage.
Events cannot be intentional. The key to getting your insurance to cover your chimney repair is that there needs to be a notable event that is taking place. With that said, there obviously needs to be no participation by the home owner in this event taking place. You most certainly cannot set fire to your home and try to collect insurance. This example is obviously on the extreme side of things, but the point stands. You as the home owner cannot play any role in the damage taking place. The event needs to be unexpected.
There can be exceptions. Your policy should explicitly state what is and what is not covered. It is noteworthy to point out that in most policies, wind and flood damage to your chimney is not covered. If there is a strong gale wind, and your chimney is damaged, your insurance company will likely claim no responsibility for the costs. However, if that same wind were to blow down a tree which fell onto your roof and damaged your chimney, then you would probably have a case. The difference is that the tree caused the damage and not the wind. Insurance companies may balk at this claim, but you can usually get the repairs covered if you argue your case.
While it may not be the most exciting read, I highly suggest taking some time to peruse through your insurance policy. There are usually headings that will highlight each point or exception that can be made. If your chimney is damaged in any kind of natural event, this information will become absolutely critical when making your claim.