Trees can be a beautiful addition to your yard; you can watch blossoms come alive in spring and leaves turn colors in autumn from your home’s windows. In the summer, your trees can provide shade, keeping your home cooler. You may even have added a tire swing to one for your kids, and seeing the tree brings back fond memories of their laughter while you pushed them. However, trees under perilous conditions can become a risk to your home and property. Here are a few scenarios for what you need to know if one of your trees goes down and how your insurance coverage could help remove it.
A Tree Falls on Your Home
If a tree falls on your home, your homeowners insurance may cover the loss and pay toward the cost of repairing the damage. It depends on the cause of the tree fall. Trees felled by perils such as winds from a storm, lightning and snow are examples of what could be covered by your policy. However, damage caused by trees pulled down by floods and earthquakes may only be covered if you have an additional rider to cover those particular perils. Also, if your tree falls due to disease or rot, that is not considered a loss caused by a covered peril. If you have sick or dead trees in your yard, consider having them removed before they become a hazard to your home. If you suspect one or more of your trees is unhealthy, look for these signs that a tree may be dying.
If you hire a company or professional to remove any trees, we encourage you to ask for their proof of liability insurance, in case the removal process results in damage to your property.
A Tree Falls on Your Neighbor’s Home
If one of your trees comes down onto your neighbor’s home, their homeowners insurance will most likely cover the damages. The case is the same in reverse. If your neighbor’s tree damages your home, your policy can cover the loss and will pay toward the cost of repairs.
A Tree Falls on Your Car
You could wake up to find your home safe after a storm, but your car has suffered from a falling tree. Your car insurance will most likely cover the loss and pay toward the cost of repairing the damage, but it may not include the removal of the tree from the vehicle. Speak to your agent about what exactly is covered under your homeowners and car policies for more details on this situation.
A Tree Falls in Your Yard
If a tree falls on your property without damaging your home or vehicle, the removal may not be covered by your homeowners insurance. However, if the tree blocks your car from entering or leaving your driveway and was pulled down by a peril such as lightning, fire or vandalism, your insurance policy may pay toward the cost of tree removal. Check with your carrier for coverage amounts. Know that most policies have maximum limits for removal per tree, and the homeowner is responsible for the payment of their deductible and amounts that exceed the debris removal coverage limit.