Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Fallen Trees?
Margaret Huntley 02-02-2022

Understanding Your Coverage for Tree Removal and Damage

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Tree Removal

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, your insurance company doesn’t care. But if a tree falls in your yard and damages your home, then your insurance company does care, regardless of whether or not it makes a sound. 

If a tree falls on your property, you’ll want to know whether insurance will pay to remove it and if the damage from it is covered by your homeowners insurance. While the answer isn’t always black and white, we’ll go through your coverage here. 

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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Tree Removal?

Because there are a variety of different causes behind falling trees, there’s also a variety of answers to this question. Insurance policies have specific terms and conditions unique to each plan. 

Generally speaking, homeowners insurance will cover any damage caused by (and sometimes the clean-up cost of) a fallen tree. Standard homeowner’s insurance typically has a list of covered perils that you’re covered for. 

Here are some commonly covered perils that are also common causes of falling trees:

  • Fire and smoke 
  • Lightening 
  • Explosion
  • Riot
  • Vandalism
  • Falling aircraft
  • Windstorm 
  • Hailstorm 
  • Weight of snow or ice

For the last three items, these perils are only covered if the falling tree damages a structure on your property. So, if the tree falls away from all structures without damaging any of them, then all clean-up costs are your responsibility. 

The other perils are covered for damage and tree removal regardless of whether a structure on your property was damaged or not. 

In short, whether your insurance policy covers a falling tree depends on:

  • The cause of the falling tree
  • Your individual homeowner’s insurance plan 
  • What the falling tree damaged

How Falling Tree Insurance Coverage Works

If you are covered for falling tree damage and/or cleanup, then your coverage will be subject to standard limits and deductibles. Typically, tree-related damage is insured at 5% of the dwelling coverage. This coverage is still subject to limits, which will vary depending on each policy. However, they tend to be between $500 and $1,000. 

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Filing a Claim for Falling Tree Damage

When a tree falls in your yard, your first priority should be safety. After ensuring everyone in your home is safe and in an appropriate shelter, calling your insurance company to discuss the cost of repairs should be next on your to-do list. 

Am I Covered for a Neighbour’s Falling Tree?

It’s common for a neighbour’s tree to fall and cause damage to your property. Even though it’s not your tree, you are the one who needs to contact your insurance provider since it’s your property that is damaged. Your neighbour is not insured for your property. 

There is one exception, however. If the insurance company finds in their investigation that the neighbour was negligent in caring for the tree, then their home liability insurance will be responsible. 

The same is true for your own trees as well. So, if your tree damages your neighbour’s property and you are found to be negligible, then your liability insurance must be used. What’s more is that if found to be negligible for trees that damage your own property, you do not receive any coverage.

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Tips for Tree Safety

Preparation is the best way to keep you and your home safe and avoid inconvenient (and even dangerous) tree damage. Here are some tips to prevent trees from falling and causing damage:

  • Perform regular maintenance on trees and their branches
  • Remove rotting trees
  • Avoid planting trees too close to your home 
  • Contact an arborist for information on the trees in your yard 
  • Ensure you have proper coverage before anything can go wrong

The Bottom Line

Being careful and taking preventative measures are the best way to avoid falling tree damage and pesky insurance claims. Understanding your policy and what’s covered will also help you in the event a tree falls and causes damage, so you’ll know what you’re covered for and how to get compensated. 

Margaret HuntleyMargaret Huntley is a creative writing and philosophy student at Western University. She has been working as a freelance writer for over two years and has written about everything from insurance, to poker, to health and wellness for international businesses.