Suppose forces of nature cause a generally healthy tree to fall and it damages your home or other structures on your property. In that case, your homeowners insurance’s dwelling coverage may pay to repair the damage and remove the tree. However, your homeowners insurance will usually not cover tree debris removal if a tree comes down and causes no structural damage and your house or other property does not require any repairs.
A standard homeowners insurance plan covers damage to a home's structure and contents if a healthy and sturdy tree comes down due to a storm’s battering winds.
In this article:
When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Fallen Tree Removal?
A standard homeowners insurance policy will pay for damages to a home's structure and contents if a tree comes down due to strong winds, a hurricane, fire, lightning, vandalism or hail. If an insured structure is damaged, homeowners insurance also covers tree removal.
- Home insurance covers tree removal expenses if a storm causes a tree to fall onto your house or any other structure on your property, such as a fence.
- If the tree collapses due to fire, explosion, lightning, aircraft, riot, non-owned cars, theft or vandalism, and it falls on your house or an empty lot within your property, insurance pays for the cost to remove the tree.
- Your homeowners insurance pays for tree removal, even if the tree originates in a neighbor’s yard, as long as it falls into your lawn or home.
It makes no difference whether a fallen tree comes from your property, a vacant lot behind your house or your neighbor's backyard. If it falls on your property because of a covered peril, home insurance will cover the cost to remove it.
When Doesn’t Homeowners Insurance Cover Fallen Tree Removal?
If a tree falls due to an uncovered risk like an earthquake or a flood, your standard homeowners insurance policy may not pay for the cost of removal. You might also not be covered if the tree falls due to natural causes like age or decay.
In addition, you’re likely to foot the cost of removing the tree if it didn’t cause any damage. However, if a fallen tree hasn't damaged any property but is obstructing a driveway, disability entry or other critical access points, your insurance provider may pay to have it removed.
How to Protect Yourself From Fallen Tree Damage
While compensation for the damages caused by a falling tree and its removal can be covered by your homeowners insurance, it’s best to try and prevent such events.
Remove unhealthy-looking trees
Healthy trees are typically sturdy enough to withstand strong winds and other perils. It’s best to remove unhealthy or old trees. Hire a professional to accurately diagnose a tree or look for obvious signs of weakness, such as overly-exposed roots, multiple split trunks and an unnaturally leaning position.
Keep trees well-maintained
Strong winds can knock down even healthy trees. Trees should be pruned uniformly on all sides to provide optimum wind resistance. Branches that have grown like additional trunks should be removed.
Where to Buy Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners insurance is available from most large insurance companies like State Farm and Progressive, and smaller firms like Lemonade or Hippo. In the United States, homeowners insurance costs around $175 per month on average.
However, costs may vary depending on your needs. Shopping around for house insurance policies might help you find the best deal. To estimate how much coverage you'll need, use the personal property calculator below.
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