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Homeowners insurance can cover many types of tree damage and some tree removal, both to your property and your neighbors’. But some restrictions apply.
You should be covered for fallen trees and branches if they’re the result of a peril covered in your policy.
You won’t be covered if the tree fell as a result of pruning, or for damage caused by tree roots.
The way insurance covers tree damage varies between policies, but generally the following applies:
You are covered if a tree or branch falls on your property due to a wind storm, lightning or other peril that’s included in your standard homeowners policy.
But you’re not covered for damage that’s considered a maintenance issue, such as not pruning back branches, or damage caused by tree roots.
It will vary by policy, but some exceptions generally apply.
Typically your homeowners insurance will cover damage to your home regardless of where the tree came from if it’s otherwise eligible. It may, however, work with your neighbor’s insurance provider to make back some of its losses if the tree was a hazard before it fell.
If your insurer finds that your neighbor is responsible and is able to recoup its payment to you, you may even get your deductible back. Otherwise, nothing will change on your side of the claim — the damage will still be covered as if it had been a tree on your property.
If a tree lands on your car, it’s unlikely that a home insurance policy will offer coverage for the loss. Instead, you’ll want to check your car insurance policy. If you have a comprehensive plan, you should be covered against falling trees and debris.
Whether removal is covered depends on where and how the tree fell. A tree that fell on open land without hitting any structures likely isn’t something you can claim unless it fell due to a peril included in your homeowners insurance.
Even then, a hail, ice or wind storm taking down a tree may result in a denied claim if it didn’t hit any structures. Excluded perils, age and rot are almost always excluded, just as they are with claiming damage.
It’s also important to know that there are typically limits on how much a provider will pay to remove trees and other debris — and that you still need to pay the deductible. It may not make sense to file a claim if the deductible is more than the removal cost when no structures were damaged.
You can likely claim damages to your house caused by falling trees as long as the fall is caused by an event that’s already covered by your homeowners insurance. Check with your insurance provider to fully understand what your specific policy covers.
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