Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Tree Removal After Storm: Outline, Coverage, Policy Exclusions, Claims & Savings

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Tree Removal After Storm: What You Need to Know.!!!

An image illustration of Homeowners Insurance Cover

Storms can be very damaging to your home and property, especially if they knock down trees.

Trees can fall on your roof, windows, fence, or car, and cause a lot of trouble.

You may wonder if your homeowner’s insurance will help you pay for the cost of removing the fallen trees.

The answer is: it depends.

In this blog post, we will explain when homeowners’ insurance covers tree removal after storm, and when it doesn’t.

We will also give you some tips on how to prevent tree damage and how to file a claim if you need to.

When Homeowners Insurance Covers Tree Removal After Storms

Typically, homeowners’ insurance covers tree removal after storms if the fallen tree damages your home or other insured structures like garages, sheds, or fences.

This coverage extends to damage caused by wind, hail, lightning, and similar perils.

Your policy foots the bill for repairing or replacing damaged structures and removing the tree, within your coverage limits.

However, there’s usually a limit on the reimbursement for tree removal, commonly ranging from $500 to $1,000 per tree or 5% of your dwelling coverage.

For instance, if your home is insured for $300,000 and a storm knocks down two trees onto your roof, your insurer will cover up to $15,000 for tree removal ($7,500 per tree).

When Homeowners Insurance Does Not Cover Tree Removal After Storms

Homeowners insurance may not cover tree removal after storms in certain scenarios.

Here are instances where you might need to cover the removal costs:

  • The tree falls in your yard without damaging any structures. Unless the tree obstructs your driveway or wheelchair ramp, your insurer won’t cover removal expenses.
  • The tree falls due to your negligence. If the tree was diseased, dying, or unstable, and you neglected its maintenance, your insurer might reject your claim. Property upkeep and hazard prevention fall under your responsibility.
  • The tree falls due to an excluded peril. If the tree topples due to a flood, earthquake, or landslide, your standard policy won’t cover damage or removal costs. Separate policies or endorsements are necessary to address these risks.

Preventing Tree Damage and Filing a Claim

Preventing tree damage and associated removal costs is paramount.

Here’s how to safeguard your home and property:

  • Regularly inspect trees for signs of disease, decay, or damage, seeking professional arborist advice if needed.
  • Prune trees and remove dead, broken, or overhanging branches to enhance their health and stability.
  • Trim branches near your home, power lines, or other structures to prevent damage during storms.
  • Secure loose or leaning trees with cables, braces, or stakes to enhance stability.
  • Remove old, weak, or hazardous trees posing safety or property threats, employing licensed tree removal services for safe and proper removal.

If a storm causes a tree to fall on your home or property, follow these steps to file a claim promptly:

An infographic illustration of steps to file a claim promptly

To report the damage.

They will assign you a claim number and an adjuster who will assess your property and estimate repair and removal costs.

  • Document the damage:

With photos and videos and create a detailed list of all damaged or destroyed items. Hold off on discarding anything until your adjuster advises.

  • Safeguard your property:

From further damage by making temporary repairs like boarding up windows, covering holes, and clearing debris.

Keep receipts for incurred expenses as they may be reimbursed.

  • Review your policy:

To understand coverage and deductibles. Seek clarification from your adjuster regarding the claim process.

  • Cooperate fully:

With your adjuster, providing requested information and documents such as inventory lists, receipts, and proof of ownership.

Be truthful and accurate in your reporting.

  • Negotiate with your adjuster:

Regarding the settlement offer. If dissatisfied, consider seeking a second opinion from an independent appraiser or public adjuster.

You can also file a complaint with your state insurance department if you believe you’re being treated unfairly.

  • Sign the release form:

Upon settlement and receive payment. Depending on your policy, you may receive a partial upfront payment or a lump sum.

Ensure you use the funds for repairs complying with local codes and regulations.

How can I save money on tree removal and homeowners insurance?

You can save on tree removal and homeowners insurance by:

Comparing quotes from different insurers and policies.

Opting for a higher deductible to lower premiums.

Bundling policies like home and auto insurance for discounts.

Exploring insurer discounts for security systems, loyalty, or online payments.

Does homeowners’ insurance cover tree removal if the tree falls on my neighbor’s property?

Homeowners insurance may cover tree removal and damage to your neighbor’s property if it falls due to a covered peril.

However, negligence, like failing to maintain a tree, may result in liability claims against you, potentially affecting your coverage.

FAQs

Here are answers to common questions about tree removal and homeowners’ insurance:

Q: Does homeowners insurance cover tree removal if the tree falls on my car?

A: No, homeowners’ insurance does not cover tree removal or car damage if a tree falls on your vehicle.

Comprehensive car insurance is needed to cover such costs, which includes events like fire, theft, vandalism, or falling objects.

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