Taking the right steps to protect your home against costs that arise from major losses is the responsible thing to do. Homeowners insurance can cover sudden or accidental damage to your foundation, a deck that collapses, a wildfire’s choking ash that coats your property, and even damage resulting from someone’s vehicle doing things on your property that wouldn’t be deemed “normal use.”
Sometimes, those situations result in a harmful side effect to your meticulous landscaping. Even if it isn’t an award-winning rose garden, restoring its appearance to the same condition it was in will be expensive. Does your homeowners insurance policy cover landscaping after repairs are complete?
Landscaping costs may be covered
The average replacement cost to sod a 2,000-square-foot yard is between $2,000 and $4,000. If you’re on the hook for those costs out of pocket, it has the potential to limit how well you repair your lawn after a repair has been completed. Fortunately, in certain scenarios, your homeowners insurance will pick up the tab for repairs to your landscaping.
If the repair is covered, landscaping may be covered
Typically, if loss that originated the claim is covered, remedial landscaping is covered as well. That means your lawn, tree damage, shrubs, and beautifying ponds and structures can be covered by your home insurance policy, but only if the reason they need to be fixed is due to an insurance claim.
For example, of you have a sewer line repair or foundation repair that’s covered under your standard homeowners insurance policy, the mess it makes of your yard will be covered. The costs to restore it to pre-loss condition are what are considered here, not any extra improvements or a fancy new water feature you’ve always wanted to install.
Keep in mind, your homeowners insurance policy has coverage limits. Landscaping limitations may cap at a dollar amount or a percentage of your home’s value on standard homeowners policies, so be aware of how much you’re able to get from a covered loss.
When landscaping after repairs isn’t covered
However, if the repair isn’t covered under the homeowners insurance policy, the cost to fix your lawn and garden falls squarely on the homeowner’s shoulders. Reasons it isn’t covered could include:
Damage from weather conditions. Hail, wind, and the weight of ice and snow can bring a tree down or flatten a garden, but fallen trees that come down in this manner are usually excluded as a covered peril from your policy.
Insect or pest damage. If a squirrel burrow, a termite nest, or a rogue neighborhood beaver takes down the tree or causes it to rot, that’s not considered a sudden or accidental loss.
Non-accidental damage. If Junior decides to practice motocross in the backyard and his dirtbike tires tear up the lawn, that’s not accidental and won’t be covered.
Can you buy extra insurance for landscaping?
If your yard is something to be particularly proud of, it might be a good idea to purchase extra insurance coverage for it. Some insurance companies offer an endorsement or rider for extra landscaping coverage that increases the limits of coverage on your homeowners policy and the conditions it allows for a claim.
If you make any notable improvements, you should inform your insurer to increase your limits appropriately.