Homeowners insurance protects your home and property from covered hazards. Things like fire, wind, snow or ice, and vandalism are all typically covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy. Some of these events can cause additional damage from a tree in your yard or your neighbor’s yard falling.
Will My Homeowners Insurance Cover Tree Removal after a Storm?
If your homeowners insurance includes damages caused by bad weather like a windstorm, your provider will be responsible for the costs of removing a tree.
Your coverage also kicks in when your neighbor’s tree topples over onto your home if it resulted from a covered incidence. Homeowners insurance can also cover detached structures like your garage or fence. If your neighbor’s tree fell because it became rotten and dried up, your provider may not take responsibility. However, you might qualify for a payout from their insurance company if the damage was due to negligence. Typically, negligence in situations like this can be difficult to prove, so you may consider talking with your neighbor to split the costs of removing it.
When Is Tree Removal Not Covered?
If a tree falls on your property during a peril that is not included in your insurance, you may not be covered. Floods and earthquakes usually are not covered in a standard homeowners policy. If you live in an area prone to these types of events, it is best to contact your provider to purchase extra coverage. You also cannot make a claim if it falls anywhere outside your property, even if it resulted from a covered peril.
The Extent of Coverage Available
A standard policy will pay you up to $1000 to remove fallen trees, with a maximum of $500 per tree. This price is not fixed. Some providers offer higher debris removal coverage limits. You will also be paid to repair damages caused by the fall. Like every insurance policy, you will be paid up to the limit of your policy. If damages exceed this limit, you will need to pay the difference out of pocket.
A standard policy also includes protection for shrubs and other plants on your property. Your provider will reimburse you up to 5% of your dwelling coverage limit to replace landscaping that is destroyed due to an incidence listed in the insurance agreement. For instance, if your dwelling limit is $300,000, your insurer will pay up to $15,000 for any plant-related losses. Under the standard debris removal provision, you will only be paid $500 per plant.
Tips to Avoid Falling Tree Damage
A fallen tree can cause serious damage to your property. Here are a few ways you can avoid such an incidence.
- If you have a tree on your property that is beginning to rot or dry up, be proactive and cut the dead limbs off or possibly remove the whole tree before it falls.
- If you are not sure about the health of a tree, hire a local arborist for an inspection. They will be able to spot what is wrong and give you professional advice on how to handle the issue.
- If your neighbor has a dead tree, talk to them about the risk it poses to your property and theirs. Calling their attention to the situation can help avoid possible issues in the future.