Are Chimneys Protected under Dwelling Coverage?

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Roof with chimney (Photo: @davidgnoehc via Twenty20)
Cheryl Knight · Writer · Jan 19, 2021
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    For many, fireplaces are a home feature to aspire to; however, they don’t come without their challenges.
    Chimneys can pose a serious risk to your home if not maintained properly. If not cleaned, they could cause a chimney fire, smoke damage to the rest of your home, or even harbor mold infestations.
    That being said, if something were to happen to your chimney, would it be protected under the dwelling coverage section of your home insurance policy?

    Does dwelling coverage protect chimneys?

    Yes, your chimney falls under the dwelling coverage of your home insurance policy because it is considered a structural element of your home. Structural elements are features of your home that you cannot carry away with you (without wrenching them off the wall).

    Does homeowners insurance cover damage to your chimney?

    Whether or not your chimney is covered largely depends on how it became damaged or broken.
    If your chimney was damaged by a covered peril on your policy, it will most likely be covered; however, it’s important to remember that the coverage provided by most standard homeowners policies is usually limited to unavoidable and unexpected circumstances (namely, fires, lightning strikes, falling objects, and vandalism). Therefore, if your chimney is neglected and causes fire damage as a result, you will likely not be covered.

    If you need to file a claim

    If your chimney has suffered damage due to an unexpected or sudden event, you should file a claim with your insurance company to cover the chimney repair.
    The first step to filing a claim is gathering evidence. Compile everything you can that proves that your chimney was damaged in the way you specified. You can do this by taking pictures. But it’s also a good idea to hire a professional chimney specialist to inspect your chimney. The specialist will give you a detailed report on what might have caused the damage.
    You should also produce any paperwork showing when you last had the chimney cleaned, inspected, or repaired. This shows that you’ve taken steps to keep your chimney maintained. Once you’ve filed a claim and submitted your evidence, your insurance provider will determine whether or not they will cover your broken or damaged chimney. It’s worth noting that, if the damage costs less than your deductible, it is not worth filing an insurance claim.
    If you want additional coverage that is not provided by your policy, it might be worth investing in a home warranty. Home warranties protect you from big financial losses by covering the repair or replacement cost of home systems or major appliances that aren’t included in a standard home insurance policy.
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