Ask the Home Insurance Expert
QWill home insurance pay for removal of a tree?
It depends on the circumstances. Home insurance does not cover the cost of removing a tree that has not yet fallen. You're responsible for paying for general maintenance of your home and yard, such as pruning trees or removing a dying tree.
But if a tree fell in a storm and damaged the house, home insurance generally would pay for repairs to fix the damage and for removal of the tree.
What if the tree simply fell in the backyard without damaging any structures? Then, you would have to pick up the tab. Home insurance generally does not cover removal of the tree unless it falls on a fence, garage or home and causes damage.
Sometimes home insurance will pay for removing a tree if it falls and blocks your driveway. Or, if you're disabled, home insurance might pay if the tree blocks a wheelchair ramp. Check your home insurance policy or call your insurance agent for details. Typically, home insurance policies cover tree removal up to $1,000 per storm.
Call your town or city government to learn what to do if a tree from your yard falls into the street. Some municipalities will remove the tree, and others will require you to do it.
If a tree from your yard fell on a neighbor's home, your neighbor would file a claim on his or her home insurance policy. But you could be held liable if the tree was dying and you had been warned about the hazard.
Don't count on getting reimbursed for the value of a fallen tree. Some insurance companies don't cover trees because they believe it's too difficult to value landscaping. Others cover damage to landscaping up to 5 percent of a home's value.