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home insurance for landscapingHome insurance covers damages to trees, shrubs and other plants when the damage is caused by a covered peril, up to a specific limit.

However, coverage for landscaping doesn’t apply in every situation. For example, if a severe windstorm brings a large tree crashing down on your house, home insurance will cover removal of the tree and the repairs to the structure. But most policies won’t cover the replacement cost of the tree itself.

In some cases, you can buy additional coverage for trees, plants and shrubs. It’s important to understand the details of your policy.

Key Takeaways

  • Home insurance includes some coverage for trees, shrubs, plants and other landscaping.
  • Common coverage limits are $500 per tree, shrub or plant up to 5% of the dwelling coverage.
  • You can purchase increased coverage in the form of an endorsement for landscaping elements.

Does home insurance cover landscaping?

“For claims involving damage to landscaping, a few companies will cover up to 5% of the house’s insured value,” explains Loretta L. Worters, vice president of media relations for the Insurance Information Institute. “Some insurers don’t cover trees and landscaping because of the inability to value landscaping. Its vulnerability makes it difficult to establish a premium.”

Pay close attention to what your policy promises to cover. According to Worters, coverage is often limited to $500 per plant, up to 5% of the coverage on the home. For instance, a policy of $200,000 on a home would have $10,000 maximum coverage for landscaping.

When doesn’t home insurance cover trees and plants?

Home insurance doesn’t cover any damage that’s caused by an excluded peril. For example, flooding and earthquakes are excluded from standard homeowners policies, so damage is not covered unless you purchase an endorsement or standalone policy.

Additionally, trees that fall or plants that die due to age or disease are not covered. Any intentional damage will also be excluded.

It’s important to read your policy carefully to be clear on the limitations of coverage.

Additional coverage for trees, shrubs and plants

If you have rare or expensive plants, or trees that have been standing for hundreds of years, you might consider additional coverage tacked onto your home insurance policy that specifically covers your unique landscaping. “An endorsement can be added to a standard policy, which increases the per item limit to $1,000 for each tree, shrub, or plant,” Worters says.

Riders that protect against wind, snow and hail are also available. It may be a good investment if you have elaborate landscaping or expensive structures under the ground, such as an irrigation system. Remember, trees ripped out by their roots during storms can damage everything in their path.