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Does Homeowners Insurance Pay for Removal of Fallen Trees?

Written by Nickel - 6 Comments

Does Homeowners Insurance Pay for Removal of Fallen Trees?

While Hurricane Irene wasn’t nearly as bad as many pundits predicted, it still caused a good bit of damage. If you’re one of the many East Coast homeowners that is stuck cleaning up storm damage, you might be wondering if your homeowners insurance will pay for tree removal.

Here’s the scoop:

  • If your tree fell on your house, then your insurance will cover the damage and pay for of the tree removal.
  • If your tree fell on your neighbor’s house, then their insurance will cover the damage and pay for the tree removal.
  • If your neighbor’s tree fell on your house, then your insurance will cover the damage and pay for the tree removal.
  • If your (or your neighbor’s) tree fell in your yard without hitting a structure, then you’re on your own.

In other words, if your property gets damaged, your insurance pays regardless of who the tree belonged to. But if the tree doesn’t do any damage, insurance doesn’t get involved. According to the Federal Citizen Information Center, the primary exception to this rule is that if a fallen tree blocks access to your property (e.g., if it falls across your driveway) then removal might be covered.

Note that tree removal, when covered, is often subject to a dollar limit in the neighborhood of $500, so you might still be out some cash (not to mention your deductible) even if the loss is otherwise covered.

Source: CBS Philly via The Consumerist

Published on August 30th, 2011
Modified on September 5th, 2011 - 6 Comments
Filed under: Insurance

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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6 Responses to “Does Homeowners Insurance Pay for Removal of Fallen Trees?”

  1. 1
    Kevin R. Says:

    If #4 — “neighbor’s tree fell in your yard without hitting a structure,” then I’d still check with your insurer. Hurricane Isabel a neighbor’s tree fell into my yard and State Farm did pay for it’s removal, though I do have a fence it crushed, but I do not recall that being the deciding factor.

    Earthquakes on the East Coast are a different matter.

  2. 2
    Crystal @ Master Your Card Says:

    I agree with Kevin, when Hurricane Ike massacred Houston, most insurance companies paid for tree removal whether or not property damage was involved, but I think it was because of special circumstances – Hurricane Ike was more destructive than most…

  3. 3
    Allan Says:

    You guys really need to do more research rather than just giving these simple advice.

    What happens if a tree falls on your driveway but does not hit the structure? Is it covered? Answer = yes, as long as it’s blocking our vehicle from entering the garage.

    You also have to look at the reason (aka “perils”) the tree fell. Was it struck by lightning or just windy conditions? It does make a difference.

    The bottom line is to make sure you read your policy and understand what is covered vs. not covered.

  4. 4
    Bixbyte Says:

    Homeowners policies are written by insurers that want to pay nothing.
    They always tell you about the great Korman Suite they put you up while your house is being repaired.
    Homeowners is 90% scam.
    Berkshire Hathaway is the best insurance salesman in the World.

  5. 5
    bruce z. Says:

    have fallan tree on house after storm and cant get in-touch with ins. company. what do i do first ?

  6. 6
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