For a variety of reasons, you may want to remove a tree on your property and you’re wondering if you could be spared of the cost. Which brings about the question – will homeowners insurance cover tree removal?
Let’s get into the details.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Tree Removal?
The truth is, it doesn’t (in most cases anyway). There is an exception though, if the tree in question falls on your building courtesy of a storm or fire, and causes some damage, or blocks off entry points to your home, then your insurance can cover its removal.
In such a case, your insurance policy could cover the cost of tree removal to the tune of up to $1,000.
To be better enlightened, you should study the details of your insurance policy and be sure of what it covers. You could also call your insurance company’s customer support line and ask them all the relevant questions.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Tree Removal After A Storm?
After a storm, it is common for homeowners’ insurance policies to cover the removal of a tree, but not in all cases.
Some factors determine whether your homeowners’ insurance will cover tree removal after a storm.
Such factors include –
- What caused the tree to fall
- Where it lands
When Will Homeowners Insurance Cover Tree Removal After A Storm?
As I pointed out earlier, the cause and where the tree fell are major determinants of whether your homeowners’ insurance will cover the tree removal or not.
Below is a table that will give you a clue to the situations your insurance can, or cannot cover.
|What Caused The Tree To Fall||Where Did The Tree Fall?||Will Home Owners Insurance Cover Tree Removal?|
|Hail, ice, storm||On the house||Yes|
|Lightning, fire||On the house||Yes|
|Lightning, fire||On the lawn or compound||Yes|
|Hail, ice, storm||On the lawn or compound||No|
|Earthquake or flood||On the lawn, compound or house||No|
|Decay, age||On the house, lawn or compound||No|
From the table above, you can see that if the storm causes the tree to fall on your home or any part of it as a shed, then the insurance policy will cover the cost of removing the tree.
On the other hand, if the storm causes the tree to fall onto your lawn or compound, but it doesn’t cause damage to your home then the homeowners’ insurance policy will not cover its removal.
As for the tree falling due to fire or lightning, the homeowners’ insurance will cover the tree removal regardless of whether the tree fell on your home or in the yard.
From the table, you can see that if the tree fell because of natural reasons, such as decay or age, the homeowners’ insurance will not cover the cost of its removal.
There are events that insurance companies deem to be “preventable”. They don’t pay for damages caused by these “preventable” events.
They believe you ought to have removed a decayed tree before the event of a storm. There are also earthquake insurance policies and flood insurance policies that cater to tree removal, but not the homeowners’ insurance policy.
If it’s a case where the tree falls from your neighbor’s compound into yours, then your homeowners’ insurance would cover the tree removal under the same conditions we’ve discussed above.
In this situation, your insurance company will do their best to recover their losses from your neighbor’s insurance company.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Tree Damage To A Car?
This also depends on the circumstances surrounding the tree’s fall.
If the cause of the fall was lightning, fire, airplane crash, vandalism, theft, or other reasons not caused by you, then your insurance policy can cover the tree removal, but not a storm.
Cars aren’t usually included in homeowners’ policies, and they are considered as “space” when they are hit by falling trees.
How Much Does Homeowners Insurance Pay For Tree Removal?
Homeowner’s insurance policies have limits to how much they can pay for in terms of tree removal. 5% of your total dwelling coverage is usually that limit.
So, if you’re covered for, let’s say $100,000, then your insurance entitles you to $5,000 worth of debris/tree removal.
There is a clause here though, most insurance companies won’t put up more than $500 per tree. This means if 6 trees fell on your lawn, they will put up $3,000 for their removal.
Don’t forget, tree removal costs range from 75$ – $150, this means the $500 limit per tree will suffice for the removal. As for damages caused to your home, the insurance will cover the total extent of your insurance limit.
Just to be sure you’re getting your numbers right, you should check on your homeowners’ insurance policy terms.
Yes, the $500 per tree limit is the most common, but some policies cover up to $1,000 while some aren’t even up to $500, so check with your insurance company’s customer support.
Is It Advisable To File A Claim?
It depends on the situation. If the tree doesn’t cause any damage to your car or building then it may not be a good idea to file a claim, since that would cost even more than the tree removal itself.
As I mentioned earlier, it costs between $75 – $150 to remove one tree. Unless the tree causes significant damages to your property, which would attract a larger and more expensive claim, then it is best not to file.
How Your Insurance Company Can Help Fix Damages To Your Building
Your insurance company will connect you with a professional contractor to help with damage repairs.
A contractor in your insurance company’s network will provide you with extras that other contractors outside their network may not offer you. These extras include warranties and free estimates.
Insurance Companies With The Best Home Repair Assistant Services
Here is a list of insurance companies that offer great home repair assistant services.
- Farmer’s Insurance
Farmer’s insurance has a reputation for connecting you to the best home repair contractors in the land.
The great part is, they offer you a 5-year warranty on the repairs after the work is completed.
Another advantage of using Farmer’s Insurance is this – The contractors in their network work directly with them, which means they will resolve issues faster than contractors who don’t work directly under them.
Lastly, the contractor receives only a part payment, to be paid in full only when the repair has been finished to your standards.
- Amica Auto Home Life Insurance
As far as having a wide variety of options of contractors is concerned, Amica Auto Home Life insurance is probably the best you can find.
In their network, they boast of over 2,000 professional contractors who have been pre-screened. These contractors also work directly with Amica, so they provide repair estimates.
Their contractors handle everything from complicated damages, to something as simple as roof leakages.
Preventing Trees From Falling In The First Place
It is always a good idea to prevent a disaster from happening than dealing with its after-effects.
Insurance companies usually give their clients a rigorous time when it comes to claims on tree removal, especially on trees that are decayed or unhealthy.
The insurance company might make a stand that if you had removed the hazardous tree earlier, there would have been no damage to your building in the first place.
To be on the safe side, keep an eye out for signs that your tree may be unhealthy, and is at the risk falling. Such signs include a leaning tree, a tree with a split trunk, or a tree with exposed and weakened roots.
Damages That Your Homeowners Insurance Will Not Cover
Below is a list of damages your homeowners’ insurance will not cover –
Floods – Damages caused to your home from flooding will not be covered by your homeowners’ insurance. You will have to take a separate flood insurance policy for this, such as the U.S National Flood Insurance Program.
Earthquakes – Earthquakes can shake foundations and collapsed buildings, but that doesn’t mean your homeowners’ insurance policy will cover those damages.
You will need a separate plan to cover damages caused by earthquakes.
Sewer backups – Sewer backups can be categorized under the flood category, except for the fact that sewer overflow is messy and stinky.
However, no matter how much sewage gets into your home and how much damage it causes, your homeowners’ insurance won’t cover the damages.
Same as the case of earthquakes, you will need a separate insurance plan to cover the damages caused by sewer backups.
Maintenance damage – If there are any damages to your home caused by your neglect for maintenance, then your homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover it.
Such damages include termite infestation, the destruction caused by a felled decayed tree, etc.
I trust the information provided here has been useful. I also hope your question – will homeowners insurance cover tree removal? has been answered by this article.