The chimney on your home is a structural component of it. Many people do not think much about it until they learn of a roof leak. Like with other structures, normal wear and tear can create damage to your chimney. This warrants repair. The question of whether home insurance covers it depends on various factors. Take a closer look at when insurance may help cover those costs.
Normal Wear and Tear
Over time, the structure of a chimney will deteriorate. This is normal and expected. It happens due to the wearing of the material, which is due to the elements.
It is the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain the structure of the home. This includes making repairs to the chimney over time. Home insurance does not cover normal maintenance and upkeep. For this reason, most damage to a chimney does not fall under the coverage of insurance.
Coverage does not, usually, apply for:
- Leaks due to normal wear and tear
- Structural problems due to wear
- Crumbling or falling chimney
- Problems that develop over time
- Carbon buildup and cleaning services
- Missing or damaged flashing around the chimney
- Related roof problems
If you are not sure, contact your agent. He or she can have an inspection completed. This sheds light onto what caused the problem. Often, your agent can offer guidance right away on coverage.
When Can Home Insurance Help You?
There are instances in which home insurance may help. It is there to help you with the unexpected. Most often, coverage applies when accidental damage occurs to the roof or chimney itself. For example, you may have no way to prevent these types of events from occurring.
Some examples of when insurance may help you include:
- Storm damage causes a tree to damage the chimney
- The chimney’s design has flaws leading to the damage
- A fire covered by your policy damages the structural integrity of the chimney
- Falling objects, such as significant hail, causes damage to the chimney
- Another type of covered event causes the damage
It all starts with an inspection. Do not put off having your chimney inspected each year. This is especially true if you use your fireplace during the year.
Routine inspections and carbon removal is necessary. It helps minimize the risk of damaging fires. It also provides the technician with an opportunity to find out if there is damage to your structure. This allows for proper repairs to occur sooner, and that will likely reduce your cost burden. Talk to your Fort Lauderdale home insurance agent about any instance you think coverage applies.