Many homes have trees surrounding them in the yard, but there are times when you need to have a tree taken down or a tree removed that has fallen on your property. If a tree has fallen, it can lead to significant damage and expenses, but is the tree removal covered by your home insurance?
Does homeowners insurance cover tree removal?
The answer to this simple question is unfortunately quite complicated. There are instances when homeowners insurance covers tree removal, and some instances when it doesn’t. It’s always best to check your insurance policy and consult your agent or company, but here are a few general rules regarding home insurance for tree removal.
When homeowners insurance will cover tree removal
- If a tree was uprooted by a rainstorm, thunderstorm, wind, hail, or snow, and landed on your house or any other fixed structure.
- If a tree was destroyed by vandalism, theft, an explosion, fire, lightning, riots, aircraft, or vehicles that were not owned by you, and fell on your house, other structure, or on the lawn/any empty space on your property.
- Trees destroyed during earthquake and floods will potentially be covered only if you have earthquake insurance and flood insurance. Note: Even if a policy is taken out against a flood, check your individual policy if it has a special clause that says it will remove tree debris, and pay for damages.
- If a tree in your neighbor’s yard fell into your property and damaged your house, or fell in your yard. In this case, however, your insurance company will try to claim losses from your neighbor’s homeowners insurance company to make up for the loss.
When homeowners insurance will not cover tree removal
- If a tree was uprooted by a rainstorm, thunderstorm, wind, hail, or snow, and landed on your yard but not on your house or any other fixed structure.
- If a tree fell down because of natural conditions, such as aging or rotting.
- If a tree fell due to earthquakes or mudslides (standard earthquake and mudslide policies might cover this.)
- A tree that has not yet fallen that you’d like to remove.
How much does homeowners insurance pay for tree removal?
If your homeowners insurance company will cover a tree removal, the amount it will cover may depend on your company and your policy. Some insurers will pay up to 5 percent of your dwelling coverage. So if you have $250,000 of dwelling coverage, you’d be covered for up to $12,500 for tree removal.
In other instances, some home insurance companies have a tree removal limit per tree, which can range from $500 to $1,000 per tree. Keep in mind you may be subject to your homeowners insurance deductible before any coverage kicks in.
If you have a down tree or trees that needs to be removed, it’s best to call your agent or homeowners insurance company to find out if it’s covered and how much your insurer would pay.
Note: Insurance companies expect you to perform the necessary maintenance work required to prevent accidents like the falling of a tree. So, if you notice a rotting or old tree in your yard, you should address the problem and get it removed before it falls on its own and damages your property, even if the cost of the removal isn’t covered.
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