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.