How does homeowners insurance cover tree damage?

Homeowners insurance may pay for damage to your belongings, home, or other structures on your property (garage, deck, shed, fence, etc.) minus your deductible. Plus, it may pay for tree removal and cleanup. If the damage is severe, you should submit a claim as soon as possible, making sure to take pictures of the damage.

If a tree falls on your car, your auto insurance will pay for the damages if you have comprehensive coverage. This optional coverage pays for events out of your control, such as falling trees, hail, and vandalism.

What if a tree falls in my yard but doesn't damage anything?

If there's no harm done to your house, other structures, or personal belongings, homeowners insurance may pay for tree removal expenses if the tree fell due to certain limited perils, such as wind, hail, or the weight of ice, snow, or sleet, and is also blocking your driveway or meets other requirements.

What if a neighbor's tree fell on my house?

If a neighbor's tree falls on your house, your homeowners insurance may cover the damage if the tree fell as a result of a covered peril and is blocking your driveway or meets other requirements. However, if it's clear that the tree is dead or rotting and your neighbor was negligent, their insurance company should cover the damage.

Keep in mind that negligence can sometimes be difficult to prove. Your case will be stronger if you've previously asked the neighbor to remove the decaying tree or sent them a certified letter from a tree professional stating the need for the tree to be removed. If your neighbor is found negligent, their homeowners insurance may cover the cost of damages.

What if a neighbor's tree fell in my yard but didn't damage anything?

If a neighbor's tree falls onto your property without damaging anything, removing the fallen tree becomes your responsibility, even if the tree was clearly dead or rotting. You can ask your neighbor to split the cost of removal, but if they're unwilling, the cost ultimately falls on you. However, if the tree did not damage anything but blocks the driveway to your residence or blocks a ramp or fixture used to assist a handicapped person, this typically would be covered by your homeowners insurance.

What if my tree falls on a neighbor's house?

If your tree falls on your neighbor's house, your neighbor's home insurance may pay for it unless the tree was rotting or clearly damaged, in which case your neighbor could prove you were negligent by not removing it. In that case, your insurance company might have to pay. If your tree didn't hit anything and is simply blocking their driveway, the neighbor's home insurance may cover tree removal expenses unless they can clearly prove negligence.

Does homeowners insurance cover tree removal?

Your home insurance company will not help remove a dangerous, diseased, or dying tree from your property, but it will typically cover cleanup and tree removal if a tree falls and damages your property as a result of certain limited perils and is blocking your driveway or meets other requirements. Removal of dangerous trees is the homeowner's responsibility and considered a normal part of home and yard maintenance. Keeping your yard maintained is in your best interest because it reduces the chance of an accident and claim. Failure to remove a tree that's in danger of falling could result in having to pay for any damages caused if it falls.

What if a tree removal company causes damage while removing my tree?

In this scenario, the tree removal company's insurance will cover the cost of damages. Before hiring a tree removal service, be sure to ask for proof of insurance, specifically liability insurance. If they aren't insured and cause damage, you may have to pursue legal action to get them to pay for the damages.