Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Tree Removal?
While trees can be a great addition to a property, they do come with some risks. Each year, falling trees and debris fall onto homes all across the U.S. If you have trees on your property, you might want to see if your homeowners insurance covers tree removal and damage.
Homeowners Insurance, Tree Removal, and Coverage
Falling trees and branches are generally less expensive to repair than other home accidents, such as hurricanes or floods. However, the cost of repair and removal can start to rack up, especially if you have more than one fallen tree. This is why many people turn to their insurance provider for help.
Homeowner’s insurance is meant to protect clients against sudden, unexpected accidents and disasters. This can certainly describe tree damage, especially when they fall during storms or other natural disasters. However, not every accident involving a tree will be covered by your insurer.
Does Your Home Insurance Cover Tree Removal? Ask Yourself These Questions
Was the Accident Caused by a Rainstorm, Blizzard, or Other Disaster?
When owning a home, the weather is one of the main sources of damage. Fortunately, most home insurance plans cover natural disasters. These can include blizzards, ice storms, tornadoes, or hurricanes. If there’s a storm and a limb falls on your home, it’s likely to be covered.
Other unexpected events might also result in tree limb damage and debris. Accidents like lightning, fire, explosions, or vandalism are also usually covered in home insurance policies. If these cause damage to tree limbs and your home, your insurer will most likely cover their removal.
What Was the Condition of the Tree? Was it Weakened by Illness or Disease?
Before filing a claim, It’s important to determine the condition of the tree. If the limb was weakened by disease, pests, rot, or age, it might not be covered under a claim.
What Happens if the Tree Lands on My Car?
Though homeowners insurance doesn’t cover vehicles, that’s not your only option. Try filing a claim through your car insurance instead. To find out more, call your provider to find out the details of your car’s policy.
Did the Tree Do Damage to Your Home?
While this may seem like an obvious question, there are two costs to consider if a tree falls down. The first is the cost of damage caused by a fallen limb. The second is paying for the removal of the tree itself.
Can I File a Claim If the Tree Didn’t Damage My Home?
In most cases, the answer is no. Your insurance provider will usually only cover damage to your home or any covered structures in your policy, such as a shed or garage. If a tree limb falls without doing damage to your property, you won’t be able to file a claim to have it carted away However, there are a few situations where you might still need to file a claim.
Damage to a Neighbor’s Property
The first is if your tree falls and causes damage to a neighbor’s property. This would be covered under the liability portion of your insurance policy. If you’re found at fault, your insurer will provide a settlement offer for your neighbor.
Lawns and Landscaping
The second situation would be if your lawn itself was damaged by the falling tree. During a natural disaster, insurers may cover lawns damaged by fallen tree limbs. You may still need to pay for the removal service, but ruined plants and shrubs may be covered. Many plans offer up to 5% of the home’s total value to replace damaged landscaping.
Should I Check If My Homeowners Insurance Will Cover Tree Removal?
It never hurts to check and see if a service is covered under your policy. Tree removal can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars, to a couple thousand. The price will depend on the size of the tree, it’s type, and how much of it needs to be removed. An insurance policy can offset these costs as well as other fees.
Often tree removal services will have a minimum charge fee and then price by the trunk’s diameter. For example, they might price $4 or $5 per inch, but require a minimum charge of $100. This minimum charge may or may not include the pickup fee or other charges.
If you’re worried about trees on your property, the best thing to do is get them looked at by an expert. A tree surgeon can examine potential problems and help you safely address areas of concern. They also will help you safely cut down and remove limbs before they break.
Even if your provider won’t pay for tree removal, they may offer discounts on your premium for trimming or removing dead branches. Talk with your provider to see how you can save.
If you’re a new homeowner or looking for a new policy, there are plenty of options out there. Providers make their plans accessible online and online comparison websites like Versured make it easy to compare quotes. When using comparison sites, make sure to know what kinds of hazards your home is most likely to face, including falling limbs or storm damage.
- Tree limbs cause damage to homes every day. If you’re worried about potential damage, or have already suffered an accident, contact your provider to see if the damage and removal is covered under your homeowner’s insurance.
- Not all tree damage is covered by a homeowners policy. If your home isn’t damaged, or the accident isn’t a covered peril, you might need to pay for the cost yourself.
- Pruning and inspecting tree limbs around your property are a great way to prevent accidents. These inspections might even get you a better deal on your insurance premium!
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