Know when you’re covered and when you aren’t
In the event of a tree emergency that causes damage to your or your neighbour’s property, plenty of questions might come to mind: how will I pay for this? Who is going to pay for this? Does my neighbour need to pay for this?
This guide will help ease some of that confusion and give you an idea of what their insurance may or may not cover when it comes to emergency tree removal and how to deal when neighbours are involved.
Does home insurance cover tree removal?
The answer to this, simply put, is that it depends. If the tree in question falls on your lawn but doesn’t damage your property, then you are unfortunately alone in removing the tree and its debris from your lawn. Home insurance is meant to help in unexpected, unpredictable emergencies, such as the tree falling onto the street or on power lines; your municipality will step in.
Home insurance may also cover a tree falling on your house, especially if provoked by natural causes such as a storm. If the tree in question had dead or decaying branches and it is on your property, insurers can argue against it.
What if the neighbour’s tree fell on my house?
If a tree from your neighbour’s property falls on your house, you may make a claim on your homeowner’s insurance if it was aggravated by natural causes such as windstorms, lightning, hail, ice, or snow,
Your home insurance company may determine that your neighbour’s tree fell due to rotting, which means they won’t be able to help you. Luckily, their home insurance should cover third-party events such as falling trees, and you may be able to file a claim based on that.
The same rules apply if the tree in question fell on any other part of your property, such as your fence, gazebo or shed.
What if a tree from my property fell onto my neighbour’s property?
A similar situation can happen if your property’s tree fell onto your neighbour’s property. They can file a third-party claim on your homeowner’s insurance, or, if there isn’t too much damage done and it’s easier to deal with the issue in a neighbourly fashion, offer to pay for at least part of professional tree-removal service fee, or to replace a broken window.
Insurance should come in only if the damage is severe and hefty.
Does homeowner’s insurance cover car damage from a tree?
This is where we recommend for car-owners to add on comprehensive coverage. It protects your car against vandalism, fire, flood and theft while it’s in park. With comprehensive coverage, if nature betrays you and causes a tree to fall on your car, you’re covered.
Does homeowner’s insurance cover damage to your neighbour’s car?
In the case of a neighbour’s car, similar rules apply. A healthy tree provoked by natural causes such as a storm would allow for insurance to cover it. Your neighbour can claim the damage under comprehensive coverage, or you can put it under your third-party liability on your home insurance. Just keep in mind that this could cause your rates to spike.
Will my insurance cover the cost of removing my tree?
Like the other incidents, it purely depends on the circumstances. Home insurance does not traditionally cover the cost of removing a tree that has not yet fallen. Along with any other type of maintenance to your property’s landscaping, you are responsible for covering that cost.
If a tree fell due to natural causes, home insurance would pay for repairs to fix the house’s damage as well as the removal of the tree – but this is only if there has been damage made to structures on your property: this includes your house, garage, or fence.
You may also get your insurance to cover your tree removal if it blocks your driveway or if you are disabled or have a disabled resident in your household, and the tree blocks the wheelchair ramp.
You will have to check with your home insurance policy or call your insurance agent for details, but typically, home insurance policies cover tree removal up to $1,000 per storm.
Will my insurance cover the cost of replacing my tree?
Unfortunately, tree replacement counts as landscaping, which is your personal project on your own property. Your insurance will pay to fix any structures that have been damaged on your landscape, however, such as your fence.
How to avoid a tree falling on your home
The best way to avoid a tree falling on your home is to give your trees regular inspection done by a professional service. Calling up a reputable tree removal company to run an analysis on the trees in your property will bring a lot of good in the long run. Professional arborists can identify any ailments or triggering factors that might cause your tree to fall over in the event of a storm or even if it’s neglected and rotting.
When to call an emergency tree removal company
Call an emergency tree removal company in the case of a rotting tree that needs to be removed, especially if forecasts are calling for strong weather conditions, or in the scenario that a tree has fallen onto the street, has toppled against a powerline or has fallen on a property. A
In any situation where a tree is interfering with the safety of yourself and those around you, it will need to be removed.
Read More About Tree Removal
As beautiful as they are, trees can still be tricky and pose risks!
So, if you’re faced with an incident caused by your or your neighbour’s tree, don’t forget to keep calm and go through this guide so that there are no surprises when you call up your insurance and your tree removal company. You will be better prepared, knowing what to expect beforehand.