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Does Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Tree Removal?

Adorning your property with fresh foliage and curated gardens can boost both beauty and curb appeal. But those lush leaves can quickly turn into your worst enemy if a tree were to become sick or fall over in your yard.

To protect your home and the surrounding properties, many local municipalities require that dead or diseased trees be promptly removed. But uprooting a large tree can be an intrusive undertaking and an extremely expensive task.

This is why it’s so important to deeply understand the ins and outs of your homeowner’s insurance policy. Your unique predicament might mean that your insurance will help cover the costs of tree removal services. However, sometimes you may have to pay for these services on your own.

Thankfully, the tree care experts at Green Leaf Zone in Los Angeles are here to help! Here is everything you need to know about homeowner’s insurance and tree removal services.

Does My Home Insurance Cover Tree Removal Services?

Your homeowner’s insurance will cover tree removal services if the damage was caused by certain perils. These can include lighting, fire, smoke, or falling objects. In most instances, if a tree topples over in your yard because of one of these common perils, your home insurance should cover the cost of the removal.

So let’s say you have a few trees next to your home. During a violent storm, two of them are knocked over and damage your roof. After paying your deductible, your homeowner’s insurance should cover the roof repairs as well as the costs to remove the downed trees.

Keep in mind that in the above example, the damaged trees fell onto the house. However, if the trees were far from the house and didn’t damage any part of it, you might not be covered. It all depends upon what caused the trees to fall and whether they damaged any structures on your property.

Let’s look at another example: a tree in your front lawn is hit by lightning and splits in half. Even if the damaged tree doesn’t harm your home, your home insurance will have to pay. Why? Because with many standard policies, any property damage caused by lightning, dire, riots, vandalism, explosion, or a fallen aircraft is covered.

However, if there is a sick or dead tree on your property that comes topping down and you’re well aware of its poor condition, your insurance will most likely not cover the costs of having it removed. You will be solely responsible. Furthermore, if that tree causes any damages to your neighbor’s property, you will have to pay for that as well.

Why Isn’t Tree Removal Covered by My Insurance?

Damaged tree cut into pieces for removal

If a tree fell on your property because of a storm or strong wind and did not damage any structures, you will probably have to pay for the costs of removal yourself. 

Other instances where your homeowner’s insurance will not cover the costs of tree removal include damages due to an earthquake or flood. You will need to get an additional policy to cover the costs in these circumstances. 

Rotten or diseased trees that you were unaware of will probably be excluded as well, sadly. However, this is where things can get a bit tricky. Even if a tree falls on your property due to a covered peril, your insurance may not cover any removal fees if it determines the tree was rotten or damaged prior to the event of a loss. This is because you should have dealt with the damaged tree well before the peril struck.

Other Common Exclusions 

Other instances where your homeowner’s insurance may not cover the costs of tree removal include:

  • If a tree falls on your car and damages it, your homeowner’s insurance will not cover the costs for repair or removal.
  • If you are running a business out of your home and the trees are part of that company, such as a nursey or landscaping business, you would need a business rider on your policy to cover removal costs.

Additional Riders to Consider

If you have many trees on your property and are worried about the costs of tree removal services, there are some other riders, or endorsements, you should consider adding to your existing policy, including:

  • Debris removal endorsement: This covers any clean-up costs in the event of peril, including tree debris removal.
  • Yard and garden endorsement: This covers any damages to your landscaping or lawn. If a tree falls and damages a sprinkler system or shrub, this rider can cover your losses.

The Bottom Line

If a tree falls on your property because of a fire or lightning strike, your policy will cover the costs of tree removal. Additionally, if a tree falls due to a peril and damages a structure on your property, your insurance should cover the costs of the repairs and tree removal.

However, if the fallen tree was determined to be sick or damaged prior to the peril, your home insurance will not cover any removal costs. The same goes for floods and earthquakes.

If you need high-quality tree services, including tree trimming, pruning, stump removal, or brush clearing, call the experienced tree technicians at Green Leaf Zone today. With over 35 years of combined experience, we’ll quickly and efficiently remove any fallen trees to make your property look pristine once again.

To obtain your free quote, call us today at (818) 452-3470. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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