Does Homeowners Insurance Cover a Leaking Chimney?

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover a Leaking Chimney?
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Chimneys are crucial structural components of many homes. They’re put into place to direct smoke and potentially harmful gases away from fireplaces and wood stoves and out of homes. They also allow for proper airflow to the heat source, ensuring that it burns and heats adequately. Chimneys include additional components to prevent wind, rain, snow, and animals from entering homes. Of course, chimneys help improve a house’s aesthetic appeal beyond the functional aspects.

That being said, the beauty and functionality of a chimney depend on how well it’s built. Proper maintenance and prompt repairs are essential as well. If left to time and the elements, the chimney will deteriorate. As a result, it’ll leave home vulnerable to moisture penetration, extensive damage, and mold growth. It may serve a different purpose and allow smoke and noxious gases to build up in the home rather than being vented outside where they belong.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Chimney Leaks?

Many believe their homeowners’ insurance will automatically cover problems with their chimneys. Though some issues are covered under typical insurance policies, others may not be. Because of that, quite a few homeowners are left to pay out of pocket for chimney damage and any additional problems it causes. To avoid being caught off guard by significant repair costs, it’s important to understand which types of damage and their causes are included in most homeowners insurance policies.

Which Types of Damage Are Covered By Homeowners Insurance?

It depends on what kind of coverage you have. For some homeowners, the insurance covers chimney leaks and other damage caused by unexpected events and acts of nature. That could include impacts from falling limbs and flying debris. If a chimney is damaged by ice and snow buildup, the coverage will depend on what is included in the homeowner’s insurance. In the event of heavy rains, high winds, or hail causing chimney damage, an insurance adjuster will likely evaluate the situation, factoring in any maintenance done to the chimney and the roof’s condition.

When Does Homeowners Insurance Not Cover Chimney Damage?

As mentioned earlier, homeowners insurance won’t cover all types of chimney leaks and damages caused by them. You should know that it’s the homeowner’s responsibility to keep up with routine maintenance and household repairs. If a chimney leaks because of long-term deterioration and a lack of upkeep, homeowner’s insurance won’t cover it. Many coverage providers may ask that policyholders provide proof of maintenance and prior repairs before paying claims.

Chimneys that leak because they need to be appropriately constructed or the roof of the house needs to be installed correctly may not be covered. If those problems cause chimney leaks, the homeowner may need to go through the contractor responsible for the oversights for resolution. Basic policies also usually exclude flood and earthquake damage, and for damage from those events to be covered, homeowners must purchase additional riders.

How to Spot Chimney Leaks

Homeowners are advised to understand the main chimney leak warning signs to watch out for. Knowing how to spot those leaks is the key to getting them repaired as quickly as possible, and it could mean the difference between having repairs covered by insurance and paying for them out of pocket.

First, keep an eye out for white residue inside or outside the chimney. That could be an indication of water infiltration. Condensation inside the fireplace also indicates a leak or other damage. If any dark spots develop on the ceiling, walls, or floor around the chimney, there may be water coming inside through the chimney. Be sure to look for broken or missing bricks, crumbling mortar, cracks, and other obvious signs of damage on the outside of the chimney.

Staying on Top of the Chimney Leaks

Staying on top of chimney leaks is crucial to protecting the chimney and the rest of the home. If leaks are left to their own devices, they can cause significant damage. Homeowners’ insurance won’t pay for the repairs caused by neglect, either. Keep a close watch over the chimney for signs of leaks and damage. Always have those issues repaired as needed.

At Prime Chimney Repair, we’re experts in chimney repair, specifically, leak repairs. If you notice signs of chimney leaks or want extra peace of mind, we’re here to help. Contact us for a free quote for homes in Greater Vancouver.


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