Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Tree Removal?
The aftermath of a fallen tree on your property can be overwhelming, with one of the first questions that comes to mind being whether or not your insurance policy will cover the cost of removal. But the answer is not a straightforward one. In this blog post, we delve into the intricacies involved in determining if your homeowners insurance covers the cost of removing a tree.
When a tree falls on your home, your homeowner's insurance policy may cover the cost of damage to your belongings, house, and other structures on your property, such as a garage, deck, shed, or fence, minus your deductible. This may also include the cost of tree removal and cleanup. In the case of severe damage, it is important to file a property insurance claim promptly and take photos of the damage.
If a tree falls on your vehicle, your comprehensive car insurance coverage can cover the damages incurred. This type of coverage, which is optional, offers payment for incidents beyond your control such as falling trees, hail damage, and acts of vandalism.
Is tree removal covered by homeowners insurance?
Typically, home insurance will only cover cleanup and removal if a tree falls on your house or property as a result of specific covered perils such as storm damage and meets criteria such as obstructing your driveway. However, it will not cover the removal of a tree that is dangerous, diseased, or dying.
Before hiring a tree removal company, ensure they have proof of insurance, specifically general liability insurance. This is important in case they cause damage to your property while removing a tree. In such an event, the company's insurance may cover the cost of damages. However, if they are not insured and cause damage, you may have to take legal action to get compensation for the repairs.
Prior to filing a claim for minor damage caused by a fallen tree, it is advisable to obtain an estimate for tree removal. This will help you determine if the cost would be more than your home insurance deductible. In such cases, paying for the repairs out of pocket might be a more cost-effective option.
What if a tree from my neighbor's property fell on my house?
If a tree from your neighbor's property falls onto your house, your homeowner's insurance could potentially cover the damage if it was caused by a covered event and impedes your driveway or satisfies other criteria. In contrast, if the tree is visibly decaying or dead, and your neighbor was at fault, their insurance would be responsible for covering the damages.
Consider that establishing negligence can sometimes prove challenging. You can bolster your case by documenting any previous attempts to have the decaying tree removed, such as a request to the neighbor or a certified letter from an ISA Certified Arborist highlighting the need for removal. If your neighbor is deemed negligent, their homeowners insurance could cover the cost of damages to your property.
Who is responsible for removing a tree that fell from a neighbor's property onto yours?
If a neighbor's tree falls onto your property but doesn't cause any damage, you are responsible for removing it, even if it was already dead or in a state of decay. While you may ask your neighbor to contribute to the removal cost, you'll be the one to pay for it if they refuse. If the tree only blocks your driveway or hinders access to a handicapped-accessible ramp or fixture, it is likely covered by your homeowners insurance policy.
What happens if a tree from my property falls on a neighbor's house?
If a tree from your property falls on your neighbor's house, the responsibility for covering the costs of damage may fall on your insurance company if the neighbor can prove that the tree was in a state of decay or clearly damaged and that you were negligent in not removing it. However, if the tree did not cause any damage and is simply obstructing the neighbor's driveway, their homeowner's insurance policy may cover the removal costs unless they can prove that you were negligent.
If you're faced with a tree-related situation that may be covered by your homeowners insurance, and you're not sure how to proceed, Life's Tree Doctor can help. With years of experience working on insurance claims, we have a deep understanding of the intricacies, billing processes, and the necessary documentation to effectively communicate with insurance companies, taking the burden off of you. Contact us today for all your tree care needs!