Trees provide numerous benefits to the average homeowner, including shade, protection from the elements, better air quality, and increased property value. However, trees can pose severe risks despite their beauty and practicality, especially when they are growing near the house or other structures.
Trees can fall for various reasons: A combination of high winds and heavy rains, an ice storm, or maybe an old tree that has been rotting for years and gives up the ghost. Whatever the reason, if it is close enough to your house and falls in that direction, the consequences could be severe.
If a tree falls on your house, what should you do first?
First, make sure that everyone in the house is safe. Then, gather your loved ones and evacuate. There is always a chance that the falling tree took down electrical lines, increasing the risk of fire or electrical shock. After your family has been safely evacuated, call 911 and tell them what happened. They will probably send out a utility and fire crew to ensure your home is safe.
If the tree or limb is small, some homeowners try to deal with it themselves. However, this can lead to accidents. Climbing onto the roof puts you in danger of slipping and falling off, being hit by lightning, or being injured and trapped if the roof collapses. You can call a trusted contractor later and leave the dangerous work to a professional.
Does homeowners insurance cover fallen trees?
Your next step is to contact your insurance company. Most homeowners insurance does cover tree damage and home tree removal. When you are confident that it is safe, take some pictures of the damage from as many angles as you can manage. Use a combination of close-ups and long-range shots. Get the photos processed and have them available to show the insurance company.
After you report the damage to your insurance company, they will tell you what to do next. They might recommend contacting a roofing contractor to cover any open areas or broken windows to avoid unnecessary water damage.
When does homeowners insurance not cover fallen tree damage?
While your insurance does cover a tree falling on your house in most cases, there are exceptions. As with most insurance claims, homeowner negligence will not be covered.
For example, suppose an old or dead tree falls or loses a limb. In that case, your claim could be reduced or denied if the company discovers that you had already known about the potentially dangerous condition of the tree and had failed to take steps to prevent the damage.
What if my neighbor’s tree falls on my house?
Homeowners insurance does cover fallen trees, even if they come from your neighbor’s property. Your policy should pay for damages to your home and tree removal. However, your insurance company might go after your neighbor’s insurance company to recover their losses.
How much does homeowners insurance cover for tree damage?
The amount you receive will depend on your specific policy. When you purchased the insurance, you decided on the coverage limits, and this is the maximum amount that your company will pay to rebuild or repair your home.
Your homeowner’s policy will show you the limit under the “Dwelling Coverage” section. “Other Structures Coverage” indicates how much protection you have on a tool shed, gazebo, or fence.
For example, you and your agent determined that your dwelling coverage limit would be $300,000 when you bought the policy. If a tree falls on your house, your policy could pay up to $300,000 for repairs or rebuild it.
Keep in mind that the homeowner is responsible for paying the deductible before the insurance company pays its share. For instance, if you chose a deductible of $2,500 when you purchased your coverage, you would pay that out-of-pocket toward the tree damage.
Prepare for the unexpected with the best homeowners insurance coverage
Choosing your homeowner’s insurance coverage is not something to be taken lightly. You need to get it right the first time, so you should work with an experienced insurance company to ensure it is right.
For over 60 years, White Cloud Insurance has delivered the most competitive personal insurance options to individuals and families across the country. Talk to any one of our insurance experts about a policy that will protect your investment when the unexpected hits.
Use the convenient contact form, call us at 305-556-1488, or send us a message at email@example.com. At White Cloud Insurance, you are always the priority.