Can Homeowners Insurance Cover Tree Removal?

Can Homeowners Insurance Cover Tree Removal?

Can Homeowners Insurance Cover Tree Removal?

Answer  Homeowners insurance can cover tree removal in certain cases, usually if the tree has fallen on your home or another insured structure, such as a shed or detached garage. However, homeowners insurance generally does not cover the cost of preventive tree removal, limb trimming or taking out a tree that’s fallen on your property without damaging any insured structure. 

If a tree topples onto your home or drops a big limb on your roof because of a peril that’s covered by your policy, your homeowners insurance generally can cover damage both to your home and to your belongings — and can cover the cost of removing the tree and any debris. Covered perils typically include storm- or weather-related conditions like wind, hail, lightning or snow.  

Your policy may also cover removal of trees or tree limbs that fall and block a driveway or access to a ramp used by disabled household members. Details depend on the policy, but debris removal is generally capped at $500 to $1,000. 

If your home is damaged by a neighbor’s tree, your homeowners policy may cover the damage and your insurance company may seek to recoup some of the cost from your neighbor’s policy through a process known as subrogation.  

If there’s no damage to an insured structure, tree removal is generally not covered, even in the case of a storm that scatters branches across your yard. Homeowners policies also may not cover damage that is caused by a tree that falls due to rot or age — things that timely maintenance could have prevented. Trees affected by flooding or earthquakes, which are not covered by standard homeowners policies, also may not be covered unless your policy includes a special endorsement covering those events. 

Regular tree maintenance is recommended as a way to prevent tree-related damage to homes. This includes trimming damaged or diseased limbs, having a professional check periodically on your trees’ health and likelihood of falling, and removal of any trees considered hazards. Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover preventive tree removal because it is considered regular maintenance. 

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