If a mighty oak crashes onto your roof, the first question that may come to mind is: Who pays for the repairs? Does your home insurance cover damage from a fallen tree? And who pays for tree removal? Depending on the situation, your homeowners policy may help cover the costs.
Does homeowners insurance cover tree damage?
It depends. Whether homeowners insurance covers fallen tree damage largely depends on the circumstances surrounding why the tree fell and the type of damage that resulted. Most homeowners insurance policies will cover damage that resulted from a fallen tree if the tree fell because of a covered peril. (Refer to your policy to familiarize yourself with the types of perils that are covered.)
Does homeowners insurance cover damage caused by a neighbor’s tree?
If your neighbor’s tree falls down and causes damage to your property, your homeowners insurance may help cover the cost to repair the damage to your house.
Does homeowners insurance cover car damage from a tree?
No, your homeowners policy typically won’t cover the damages if a tree falls on your car. However, if you have comprehensive auto coverage, you may be able to file a claim under that policy.
What about the fallen tree itself? Does homeowners insurance cover tree removal?
If a covered peril causes a tree to fall, insurance may cover all or a portion of the cost of removing the fallen tree and/or replacing the tree. However, if a peril outside of your policy causes the tree to fall, your policy will probably only cover the cost of tree removal if the tree is preventing you from entering or exiting your property. Tree removal may also be covered if the tree lands on and damages other property that's covered by your homeowners policy.
How do I protect my house from tree damage?
While accidents happen, here are a few ways to maintain the health of your trees, and prevent any future home damage.
- Hire an arborist. Arborists are trained to assess the health of your trees. Prior to winter or stormy weather, it might be a good idea to schedule an appointment with one to make sure your trees are in tip-top shape prior to inclement weather.
- Give it a trim. Large or oversized branches can become hazards if not properly cared for and maintained, especially if they hang over your roof. Trimming back branches is an easy way to prevent damage to your home.
- Look for signs of disease. If you notice dead or broken branches; discolored or dead leaves falling outside of season; or evidence of insect damage, fungus, or mold, your tree might be sick. Contact an arborist for a full tree health checkup.
- Plant in the right spot. Strategically planting a tree on your property can save you a headache down the road. When choosing the type of tree, determine how big the species grows, considering canopy and trunk size, and plant it far enough away from your home to ensure the tree's health and your home's well-being.
Award-winning AAA insurance agents can help you find the right coverage for your needs. Call (877) 323-4222 or request a quote online to get started.