What Is Covered When a Tree Causes Damage
In most cases, homeowners insurance covers damage done by a fallen tree, with no regard to what caused the tree to fall. Windstorms, heavy snow, rotting trunk or lightening strikes causing the tree to come down are typically covered. It doesn’t matter if the tree is owned by you, or fell from the neighbor’s yard and did damage to your property. The only difference will be in how your insurance carrier proceeds.
Trees on your property that fall, use a straight-forward process. The insurance company pays the bill or reimburses you for the cost of repair. For example, a large tree falls onto your home, crashing through the roof and the trunk of the tree is consequently lifted into the air and comes down on top of your car. Your homeowners insurance will cover both the cost of repairing your home and getting your car fixed or replaced. You will be required to pay the deductible listed on the policy.
When the fallen tree was rooted in the neighbor’s property, your insurance company will still pay to have things repaired. The difference is, in this case, your insurance company will then request reimbursement from the neighbor’s insurance carrier. In addition, the company will ask the neighbor’s carrier to repay you the deductible you had to cover when the covered event occurred.
In addition to covering the damage caused by the tree, the insurance company will also pay to have the fallen tree removed from your yard. Typically, it cost $500 to $1,000 to have it cut up and hauled away. This expense will be included in the total repair bill for the incident, therefore, you will not have to pay a second deductible when the tree is removed.
In the case of a fallen tree that did not hit a structure or vehicle, the homeowners policy will not pay to have the tree removed. An exception is sometimes made in the event the fallen tree blocks driveway or house access for a covered disabled policyholder or family member of the policyholder.
Homeowners policies also cover damage to bushes and trees when other covered events occur. For example, if a house fire that spreads to the trees and bushes in the yard can cause significant damage. The policy will pay to replace damaged foliage, up to a cap, usually $500.
If a tree falls and causes damage to your vehicle, home or other structure, it is best to take photos or a video from all angles. This provides evidence to the insurance company of the total event. Once the photos are taken, moving the tree to open access to the house or yard is okay. If the fallen tree is presenting an immediate danger or injury, move it immediately if it can be done safely. Then take photos and write up a narrative of where it was and why you moved it.