What happens if a tree falls on and damages your property during a storm? Will you be covered, or do you have to front the damage yourself? In the same vein, if you have a dead or diseased tree on your property that you suspect might cause property damage in harsh weather, can you have it removed and covered by Homeowners Insurance?
It can be difficult to know the ins and outs as each policy varies, so even after reading this you may wish to contact your policy holder in order to get the exact information that you are looking for. At least then, you will know where you stand. In any case, we will share some general information to you a pretty clear idea as to what’s what.
Does home insurance cover tree removal?
Unfortunately, if you wish to have a tree voluntarily removed from your property, your insurance will not cover it. The same applies for any damage caused when you are lopping down a tree on your property; you likely won’t be able to make any claims for that damage. This is another reason why you should always seek professional assistance when it comes to tree care and maintenance. That way, if in the unlikely event that they do mess up and cause damage, you will be covered by their insurance.
That said, if a tree does fall during a storm and damage your property, then you may be covered by your Homeowners Insurance. In any case, it’s always worth contact a large tree removal specialist to see what kind of deal they can do for you.
How does Homeowners Insurance cover tree damage?
The way that insurance covers any tree damage will vary between policies. That said, this is how home insurance typically applies to tree damage:
You will be covered if a tree or branch falls on and damages your property due to a windstorm, lightning, or any other peril that is included in your homeowner’s policy. However, you will not be covered for any damage that is considered a maintenance issue (i.e., not pruning dead or damaged tree’s).
Here are some exclusions and exceptions for further clarification:
Again, this information will vary but some of these exceptions typically apply…
- You will not be covered by a falling tree if the damaged was caused when lopping or pruning a tree by yourself
- You will not be covered if a tree fell due to root rot or was clearly in danger of falling during heavy weather
- You will most likely not be covered if a tree fell from earthquakes, sinkholes, or landslides, etc.
- You may be covered for tree root damage if it has been strangled by underground waterpipes which resulted in the release of liquids. You may also be covered for the damage caused by said escaped liquid, however, not for the pipe repairs.
Will homeowner’s insurance cover damage by a neighbour’s tree?
Another good question is whether a neighbour’s tree causing damage to your property will be covered. Typically, unless stated otherwise, you will be covered by any damage regardless of where it came from. Of course, you will likely have to work with your neighbour’s insurer in order to collect on damages.
If your insurer discovers that your neighbour was both responsible and can recoup the payment, then you might be able to get your deductible back as well. Otherwise, your claim will remain the same and will be treated as though the tree was already on your property.
Will homeowner’s insurance cover damage to your car?
It is highly unlikely that a tree landing on and damaging your car will be covered by your home insurance. That said, you may be covered by your car insurance policy.
So, unfortunately you can not have your tree removed on your insurance. However, if you do suspect that your tree is a hazard and will likely fall and cause damage to your property in a storm, then we would highly recommend that you proceed with it. Or, at the very least, contact an established arborist such as Lakeside Trees and Stumps and see what they advise.