All standard homeowners insurance policies cover damage to landscaping. This type of damage is typically covered by the policy's dwelling coverage.
The dwelling coverage in your homeowners insurance policy will pay to replace or repair your home's physical structure if it is damaged due to a covered peril. This is often your homeowner's insurance policy's highest coverage limit. If your landscaping is damaged, you are required to provide evidence that the cause of the damage is a risk that is covered by your homeowners insurance. If you can prove that, your policy will cover the damage.
All homeowners insurance policies extend coverage to landscape damages caused by a covered peril. This includes damage to trees, plants and any surrounding structures. However, only 5% of the dwelling coverage can be used for landscape repair. If you want complete protection for your landscape, consider purchasing additional dwelling coverage.
In this article:
When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Landscaping?
Although your homeowners insurance policy’s dwelling coverage extends protection to your property's landscaping, coverage will only be provided under certain conditions. Examples of covered events are outlined below.
- Damages caused by an accidental fire will be covered.
- If someone vandalizes your landscape, it will be covered.
- Damage to landscape that is caused by falling objects, car collisions, tornadoes, explosions or unexpected water damage will be reimbursed.
Note that the scenarios presented here are examples. Your landscape may also be covered if it is damaged by heavy snow, hail or wind. Theft of landscape-related property is also generally protected. Water damage caused by burst pipes or malfunctioning sump pumps will be covered. To determine whether structures and belongings are protected, you must contact your homeowner's insurance provider.
When Doesn’t Homeowners Insurance Cover Landscaping?
Although coverage for damages to your landscaping is included in your homeowner's insurance policy, the following damages may not be covered:
- If your landscape is damaged due to natural floods, you will need a separate flood insurance policy to cover the repairs.
- Damages by mudslides and earthquakes are also not covered.
- Landscapes damaged by pests and insect infestations are also not covered.
How to Protect Your Landscape
Despite the fact that your homeowners insurance policy covers landscaping damages, it is in your best interest to take the required measures to protect your home's landscape. It’s easier to take steps to protect your landscape than to file a claim and oversee repairs.
Protect from extreme weather conditions
It’s important to prepare your landscape before an adverse event like a hailstorm or tornado hits. You can take measures to tornado-proof your landscape. Install trees that are resistant to winds and make sure you don't have trees with shallow roots. Additionally, by connecting the trunks of young trees to tree guards made of wire or plastic, you can prevent them from being damaged.
Install French drains and rain gardens
Consider installing French drains to reduce waterlogging, especially if you live in a flood-prone location. Create a rain garden with plants that thrive in wet conditions.
Winterproof the garden
If your plants and trees are not adequately protected from harsh winter conditions, they could die as soon as the first snowfall arrives. Winter pruning of plants and shrubs is essential, as is adding insulating mulch at the base of young plants. Look for winterproofing solutions to protect your trees and plants.
Regular inspection and upkeep
Inspect your landscape and the areas around the house to ensure there are no burst pipes or drainage problems. If you identify a problem area, address it immediately. Employ professionals, if necessary, for the regular inspection and maintenance of your landscape.
Where to Buy Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners insurance is available from most major insurance companies, such as State Farm, Progressive and GEICO, as well as smaller ones, such as Lemonade and Hippo. The average monthly cost of homeowners insurance is around $175. However, the price may differ from one company to the next.
Comparing homeowners insurance policies is a good way to get the best deals. The amount of personal property that you choose to cover can also affect your overall insurance premiums. MoneyGeek offers a personal property calculator to help you estimate the cost of a homeowners insurance policy.
About Mark Fitzpatrick