A standard home insurance policy will pay for damage to the structure and contents of a home if a tree collapses due to strong winds, a hurricane, fire, lightning, vandalism, or hail. If an insured structure is damaged, homeowners insurance also covers tree removal. Homeowners insurance will pay for tree removal in most cases after a storm, but not all. How the tree was felled, as well as where it falls, will determine if the homeowners insurance company will pay the bill.
The answer depends on where the tree fell or whether it was uprooted. Because homeowners insurance doesn't cover preventive tree removal, a tree that was simply damaged by a storm but hasn't completely fallen down won't be covered. 1 It is up to you to remove that tree before gravity or another storm ends what started the first storm. If the storm completely uprooted the tree and didn't land or damage any of its properties, its removal may not be covered either.
Damage caused by fallen trees or branches will be covered if your policy covers the cause of the problem. For example, if wind or ice knocks down a large branch of a tree and destroys your shed, you can file a claim with your home insurance. Despite the risk that a damaged tree may pose, your home insurance may not cover its removal if your insured property hasn't been fallen or damaged. A homeowners insurance policy covers damage caused by falling trees if the tree fell due to a problem covered by your policy.
If you have questions about your property, you can always talk to an insurance agent to find out what exactly your policy covers. Your home insurance policy usually covers water damage caused by frozen pipes, but not if you forget to keep your home properly heated. Insurance companies won't insure events that could be considered preventable, and insurers may think that you could have removed the tree before the storm hit. Most homeowners insurance policies don't cover the cost of removing debris if there was no structural damage.
However, in this case, your insurer could try to recover losses from your neighbor's insurance company. Some homeowners who live in states that are prone to hurricanes may have windstorm damage completely or partially excluded from their home insurance. Fortunately, damage caused by lightning is usually covered by a standard home insurance policy. No matter how precarious the tree is, it's likely your home insurance policy won't cover its preventive removal.
If you can't live in your home due to damage, such as damage to trees, you can get additional living expenses under the “loss of use” portion of your home insurance policy. According to the Insurance Information Institute, your insurance company may attempt to raise funds from your neighbor's insurance company through a process called subrogation. If a tree falls, a typical home insurance policy can cover damage to the structure of a house and its contents. You should read your home insurance policy and think about the changes you can make to keep your property safe.
Depending on the situation, standard home insurance policies may cover damage caused by falling trees. However, if a tree falls due to a problem covered by your policy (such as a windstorm or the weight of snow and ice), your policy may pay a certain amount to remove debris if they block a driveway or access ramp for the disabled. .
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