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The Top Five Questions About Trees And Homeowner’s Insurance

Thursday, February 13, 2020

trees and homeowners insurance

Trees add beauty and elegance to the curb appeal of any home. Mature trees offer shade, help clean the air, and add beauty to your yard. Despite the many positive sentiments about the value of trees, there are risks to consider when insuring your home. You may be wondering about the peril of tree damage and how your homeowner’s policy covers damage to your structures and landscaping. Equally complex is trying to understand who is responsible when neighboring trees cause damage to your property. We offer a few of the most common questions with helpful answers below. 

1- A Tree Fell On My Roof. Am I Covered For Repair Or Replacement?

You may be wondering if home insurance covers trees falling on a house. Homeowner’s policies generally include roof replacement, no matter the cause of tree damage. You are covered for repair and replacement in the case of a natural disaster like a wind storm. If the tree was knocked down by “an act of God,” cleanup and removal of the entire tree are usually included in your claim. If you are worried that your older trees may be at risk of falling and damaging your property, it might be helpful to hire an arborist to assess the health of your green canopy. Obtaining adequate insurance against damage is smart, but preventative maintenance may keep your beautiful trees standing for years. Keep in mind the loss of a tree can reduce the curb appeal and value of your home. 

2- My Property, But Not My Tree. Who Pays For Damages?

An excellent question to ask your agent is how your Homeowner’s policy will deal with the damage from trees you don’t own. When it comes to home insurance for trees near your house, your coverage will pay for any destruction from weather events. If a wind or snow storm results in branches from next door causing loss to any of your structures, it is considered an “act of God,” and your policy will pay for the repairs. 

If a dead or neglected tree from your neighbor’s yard falls on your house, your policy will likely cover the repairs. You should submit a claim with your agent immediately. Your company may choose to pursue a claim against the neighbors after completing the repairs. The two insurance companies will discuss and make settlements.

fallen tree

3- One Of My Trees Died. Will Insurance Pay To Have It Removed?

Homeowner’s Insurance does not generally cover the removal of a problem tree. The property owner is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of landscaping. If the dead tree falls and causes damage to your structures, you may be surprised to discover that removing the branches and debris is your financial responsibility. If you sustain property damage from a dead tree and then find additional problem trees, you will not be able to file a claim to have them removed. Just remember that your policy does not cover potential but rather the results of damage. 

4-What Happens If My Tree Falls On A Powerline?

Call your utility company immediately, and don’t go near any downed lines! If the powerline connects to your personal property, you will need to file an insurance claim. If the line belongs to the utility company, they will be responsible for the repairs. Typically the utility company prunes branches that are in the power line right of way as a form of preventative maintenance. In the case of a storm knocking down your tree, the utility company owns the damaged property and will manage all aspects of the repair. 

5- A Tree Fell On My Car. Does My Homeowner’s Policy Cover The Car? 

The short answer is no. Your auto policy covers this event, and you should call your agent to file a claim. If the fallen tree also damaged your house, the home and car are covered separately. 

Taking the time to review your current insurance coverage is highly recommended. Your agent may offer additional coverage or riders to protect your investment fully. Independent Insurance Associates is happy to discuss and explain the many facets of understanding your home and auto policy. Feel free to contact us today to schedule an appointment to review your Homeowner’s Insurance.