What to Know About Tree Removal and Homeowners Insurance

Does homeowners insurance cover tree removal?

Falling trees are an issue that many homeowners will have to deal with at some point. Tree removal can be a hassle, but luckily there are times when the cost of tree removal is covered by homeowners insurance. However, it depends on where and how the tree falls. If a storm or other covered incident causes the tree to fall onto your house, fence or another insured building on your property, like a garage or shed, the tree removal is typically covered. If a tree falls in your yard but does not damage any property, tree removal might not be covered. Preventative tree removal also isn’t usually covered by homeowners insurance. This article will help you understand when tree removal is and isn’t covered by your home insurance policy, along with tips to avoid tree damage.

Coverage Rules for Tree Removal

Your homeowners insurance should cover removal if a tree damages a structure on your property as a result of a covered peril, like wind, ice or a storm. If a tree falls into an open space or your yard without damaging any property, removal will not be covered unless the tree falling was caused by a covered peril, like fire, lightning or vandalism. 

There are certain circumstances in which tree removal will not be covered. Your homeowners policy will not cover tree removal or damage from events like floods, mudslides or earthquakes. It also won’t cover removal if a tree falls due to rot, disease, age or pest infestation. If a tree falls into an open space or yard without damaging any property, and did not fall due to a covered event, insurance will not pay for removal. If a tree falls onto your car, that will be paid for by your auto insurance policy as long as you have comprehensive coverage.

Will homeowners insurance cover tree damage to a neighbor’s house?

Your homeowners insurance only covers your home, so it typically won’t cover damage to a neighbor’s property if your tree falls into their house or yard. However, if your trees were clearly dead or rotting prior to the damage, you could be found negligent, in which case your policy’s liability coverage may kick in to cover costs associated with removal of the tree. Keeping your trees properly trimmed and having dead limbs removed before the tree has a chance to cause damage is your best bet.

How to Prevent Tree Damage

Homeowners insurance doesn’t typically cover preventative tree removal, but keeping your trees maintained could help you avoid tree damage in the first place. Here are some tips to keep your home and yard safe. 

  • Prune dead or overgrown limbs. Keep trees pruned to avoid damage. Overgrown limbs are not only more likely to break, but can cause damage to siding, gutters and roofs.
  • Have a professional trim around power lines. When it comes time to trim your trees, be careful of power lines. It is always a good idea to have a professional trim trees around power lines to avoid injury and damage.
  • Monitor root systems. Tree roots could interfere with pipes, your house’s foundation or buried wires and cables. 
  • Remove diseased or dead trees. If a tree is dead, diseased or infested with pests, it is more likely to fall and cause damage. 
  • Plant new trees strategically. When planting new trees, take current structures and power lines into consideration, and plant trees where they will cause the least damage if they fall.

Let SelectQuote Find You the Right Homeowners Insurance for Your Needs

The right homeowners insurance policy can give you peace of mind during unexpected situations, like dealing with damage from a fallen tree. SelectQuote has nearly 40 years of industry experience helping homeowners find insurance to meet their needs and budget. Our licensed insurance agents will search trusted carriers on your behalf, saving you time and finding you a policy to keep you, your family and your home safe.

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