Is Tree Removal Covered by Home Insurance?
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Your homeowners insurance policy will cover fallen trees under certain conditions and considering damages, but they won’t always be covered.
It feels like a great luxury to have a home with some natural life surrounding it. Looking out your window at a nice big tree makes your home feel cozy, comforting, and fancy. Almost everything about having trees, or even shrubs, on or near your property is great. Until they fall down, of course. Suddenly they’re not so nice to have around anymore.
If a tree falls down on your property (or your neighbor’s), you’re likely going to want it removed. That’s doubly true if the fallen tree (or shrub) lands on something important, like your house or garage.
But is that something you have to pay for? Or is the cost of tree removal taken care of by your homeowners insurance coverage? Read on to find out everything you need to know about making a claim for tree removal with homeowners insurance.
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Does homeowners insurance cover tree removal?
Tree removal is sometimes covered by your homeowners insurance company. And, sometimes, it’s not. It all depends on the conditions the tree falls under and what it damages.
There are two elements that influence whether or not a downed tree can be covered by homeowners insurance. The first is the cause of the fall. Did the tree fall down because of something that is generally covered by your homeowners insurance? If not, then you’re out of luck.
The second is the area where the tree falls. If it doesn’t fall on anything that causes damage or inconvenience, like an insured structure, then your insurance won’t cover the debris removal.
Key Takeaway Home insurance covers tree removal only if both the cause of the incident and the property damaged are covered.
Does homeowners insurance cover tree removal after a storm?
The primary cause of downed trees on people’s property is storms. So, does a homeowners insurance policy cover removal of trees that fell during a storm?
Here, the answer is yes, but only within a very strict definition of storm. If a tree falls because it grew too heavy under the weight of snow and ice, that’s covered by insurance. If it falls in a serious windstorm, that will be covered. If, however, the tree falls because of standard and expected wind, it won’t be covered.
It’s the same with rain: If a serious rainstorm helps bring a tree down, that’s covered by insurance. But if moderate rain simply loosens the dirt around the tree, and it comes down? You probably won’t get that covered.
And again, it depends on where the tree falls. If it simply lands in your yard but doesn’t cause any damage to your structures (or a blockage of any sort), it usually won’t be covered by homeowners insurance, no matter the cause of the fall.
Examples of when homeowners insurance covers tree removal
To go along with all of the aforementioned examples, tree removal will be covered if caused by a fire or lightning. In addition to those conditions, the tree has to land on a covered structure like your house, garage, deck, fence, car, or driveway, or block a path for you or your car.
Examples of when homeowners insurance doesn’t cover tree removal
Tree removal is not covered by homeowners insurance if it lands in a convenient spot, such as in your front lawn or back yard, and doesn’t cause an obstruction. It also won’t be covered if a tree falls down because of rot, groundwater, flooding, or an earthquake. You also won’t be covered if the tree falls because of anything that you’ve done to make it more liable to fall down, even if it causes damage.
Having a tree fall down on your property can be a hassle, especially if it lands on a structure. But in many cases, it’s covered by your homeowners insurance, and they can help you get the tree out of there.
How much does insurance pay for tree removal?
The amount insurance pays for tree removal depends on your policy’s payout and deductibles. If you have a payout of $1,500 with a $500 deductible, you will have to pay the deductible, and the remaining $1,500 will go towards tree removal. If the cost of removing a tree exceeds the payout and deductible, you will have to pay the rest out of pocket.
How much does fallen tree removal cost?
On average, fallen tree removal can cost somewhere between $75-$150.
The cost of removing a fallen tree from your property usually isn’t very costly. You’ll want your homeowners insurance to kick in for any damage it causes, which will be much more pricey.
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