Trees are very common around houses and in communities across the United States. Many people enjoy the beauty, shade and ambience trees provide to their home. However, over time, disease and the elements can take a toll on these trees, turning them into dangers to your own property or the property of others.
You might be wondering if insurance will pay for the removal of standing trees, and in short, the answer is no. Most home insurance policies exclude trees that are still standing, even if they have become a danger. As the homeowner, you are responsible for maintaining your home and yard, thus, it is up to you to prune or remove any trees that could cause a hazard in the future.
Additionally, if you know the tree is a risk and you fail to remove it and it damages a neighbor’s home or property, you could be found personally liable for the damage the tree causes and removal of the tree. If the same tree were to fall on your home or property, your insurance may refuse to cover the costs of repairs and removal as well.
Does Insurance Pay to Remove Fallen Trees?
When it comes to the removal of fallen trees, the answer is not as clear. If a storm were to blow a tree over in your lawn without damaging your property or any other structures, it is very unlikely insurance would cover the costs of removing the tree.
As insurance goes, there are exceptions to this rule. Some policies will cover the cost of removal if the tree blocks the driveway to your home. Other companies will cover some of the costs if you are handicapped and the fallen tree has blocked wheelchair ramp into your home. Your specific policy will discuss coverage specifics for these instances.
If a tree does fall on your home, most insurance companies will cover the costs of tree removal up to a specific amount per storm. If multiple trees were to have fallen on your home, you will be required to pay for any costs above the coverage amount.
What if the tree falls on your neighbor’s home?
If an otherwise healthy tree falls onto your neighbor’s home because there was too much water and wind or a hurricane blew it over, then your neighbor’s insurance should cover the costs of repairs and removal of the tree.
Replacement Costs of Landscaping Trees
Some people spend a great deal of money on the landscaping of their homes, including trees. Others find the value of a mature tree to be worth its weight in gold for energy savings, shade and enhanced outdoor living. A common question, will insurance reimburse you for the replacement of the tree? In most cases, the answer is no. Some policies do offer some landscape coverage, but for the most part, it will be up to you to replace the tree that was lost.
All in all, the insurance waters surrounding trees can be murky. We encourage you to review your policy to learn about specific coverages as they pertain to trees. At Ramey King Insurance, we’d love the opportunity to sit down and discuss ways to improve your coverage and lower your costs.