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Landscaping your home costs a lot of time, effort and money — and it’s the one part of your property that’s most exposed to damage. But while some people assume their homeowners insurance fully protects against landscaping damage, the truth is a standard policy covers very little.
In a standard homeowners insurance policy, only very basic landscaping damages are covered. This is mostly because it can be hard to determine a value on plants and trees, especially as their growth matures. The risk increases when landscaping is exposed to every kind of damage, which can make coverage costs too high to be practical.
If you’ve spent a lot of money on a particular tree or bush, or if you know your area is prone to weather damages not covered by your standard policy, you may consider extra coverage.
Every homeowners policy is different, but when you make a claim that includes landscaping damages, this is usually what’s included:
The standard coverage offered in your homeowners policy may be enough for anyone with basic yard features, but if you’ve shelled out big money to turn your front and backyards into showpieces, you should consider one or more of the following supplemental coverage options:
If a lightning storm in your area causes a tree in your backyard to fall over and crush your shed, your homeowners policy pays for the removal of the tree and the rebuild of your shed. But it won’t typically cover the replacement of the tree itself. You get $500 reimbursement for the tree, which will only buy a mature tree that’s half as big.
The landscaping damages not covered depend on a variety of factors, but often insurance may cover damages to structures and cleanup costs, but not the replacement of the landscaping.
It’s important to know what’s covered by your homeowners policy, even if you’re a garden minimalist. And if your insurance company doesn’t offer the coverage you need, shop around for home insurance to find a policy that better protects what’s important to you.
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