As a homeowner, you likely know the importance of investing in regular chimney inspections and basic maintenance – but what happens when something goes really wrong? Finding yourself needing costly repairs can often feel like an impossible burden, as unexpected expenses like these are never welcome.

Thankfully, if you have insurance for your home, the bill might not all fall on your shoulders. Let’s explore the situation more closely and see how homeowners can best protect themselves from potential chimney safety issues – and how their insurance may be able to help should disaster strike.

Does My Homeowner’s Insurance Cover the Chimney?

Insurance coverage varies based on your policy and provider, so we can’t tell you for sure if your repairs will be covered. In most cases, though, insurance should cover the entire chimney and venting system if damage was caused by a sudden event or extreme weather situation.

On the flip side, though, these systems do not typically have coverage for basic weathering or normal wear and tear damages to the system. Basically, if you’re not taking care of your chimney, and it breaks down as a result, insurance won’t cover that. Repairing or replacing a neglected chimney can be very costly, so this is a prime example of why investing in annual inspections and prompt maintenance is always the more affordable route.

To ensure the most seamless transaction possible, it’s important to show that you have invested in regular care and annual inspections from a certified chimney sweep.

insurance policy surrounded by glasses, pens, and a calculator

We suggest making sure that your homeowner’s insurance policy covers these repairs, so you are financially secure and know exactly what to expect in case of an emergency or extreme event. Do your due diligence to ensure adequate protection against unanticipated expenses down the line – it’ll pay off in the long run.

What Are Some Common Chimney Repairs That Insurance Might Cover?

Chimneys can be damaged by a variety of causes and factors from bad weather (including wind, heavy rain, snow storms, and lightning) to chimney fires. Common types of damage, like crumbling brick and mortar, loose or corroded dampers, blockages due to animal intrusion or bird nests in the flue, and leakage around the seals and flashing are typically not covered.

When it comes to chimney repairs, they’ll usually only be covered in part or fully by insurance if they were caused by a sudden event of some type. A couple of examples of a sudden occurrence event would be a lightning strike to the chimney stack or a contained chimney fire in the flue that you never knew about. In addition, damage due to flooding, tornado, earthquakes, or other natural disasters should also be covered.

It is important to regularly inspect and maintain your chimney to prevent more serious issues in the future. Having a certified professional sweep from Winston’s Chimney Services perform an annual checkup will ensure that any early signs of damage are detected and dealt with properly before they become hazardous.

Additionally, by performing regular cleaning work such as removing built-up creosote deposits and debris left over from burned wood you can prevent small problems before they even start.

Who Do I Talk To About My Chimney Insurance Claim?

When it comes to filing an insurance claim for chimney repairs, it’s important to consider coverage limitations and exclusions that your policy may have. Depending on the structure of your policy, you may have partial or complete coverage for chimney repair costs. Generally speaking, most policies include a range of considerations, such as the cost of tearing down unsafe sections of the chimney systems and redoing the masonry work on existing levels.

However, there may be some repairs or upgrades that are excluded and not covered by homeowners insurance. Before you file a claim, be sure to talk to an experienced Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney technician who also has experience with helping homeowners understand what has happened – and can verify that there was an event that caused the damage.

Then, talk with your insurance agent to evaluate the full scope of your coverage and make sure you understand all potential limitations in order for your claim to go as smoothly as possible.

an older-looking red masonry chimney against a blue sky

We Can Help With Financing

Because homeowner’s insurance might have limitations, Winston’s Chimney Service offers Service Maintenance Agreements to help bridge the financial gap outside of insurance coverage in a very cost-effective manner. Winston’s Chimney Services has been working insurance claims since 1978 in the Northern VA, Washington DC, and Maryland areas and is very familiar with the process.

Make sure you talk to us first at 703-379-5006, so we can help make a proper assessment of the chimney system and event. When it comes to repairs, we’re the only team to trust.

Winston's Chimney Service
11301 Industrial Road
Manassas, VA 20109