If a Tree Falls…Will Insurance Cover It?
Image from Centralinsurance.com
Storms at any time of year can make our phones ring.
Tree damage prompts many of the calls we get. Strong winds and the weight of snow and ice can down tree branches or uproot entire trees.
For trees that have fallen due to wind storm or heavy snow and ice, your standard homeowners policy will only cover tree removal if the tree has damaged a covered structure such as your home, your garage or your shed. Tree removal will also be covered if the fallen tree is blocking your driveway or access to a handicap ramp or other accessibility feature.
The standard coverage for tree debris removal is $500 per tree and no more than $1000 per loss no matter how many trees are downed. There is no coverage provided to replace the fallen tree or trees.
Your homeowners deductible will apply. If you have a $1000 deductible, and your loss is less than $1000, you will not receive a claim payment. If you have a loss that is greater than $1000, you will receive a claim payment for the amount of the loss above the $1000 deductible, up to the limit of your policy.
You get the same coverage if your neighbor’s tree falls on your home or other covered building. If the tree was dead or dying prior to the loss, however, your neighbor may be responsible for the tree debris removal and for the damage it caused.
Tree removal endorsements may be available for your homeowners policy. These endorsements provide coverage for tree debris removal even if the tree has not damaged a covered building or blocked your driveway or ramp. Coverage limits vary. There is still no coverage to replace the fallen tree with these endorsements.
Policies vary by insurance company and include many variables. Please call your account manager if you have any questions about your specific homeowners policy or about tree removal endorsements.