A tree might fall for various reasons. But if a tree falls because of a storm or natural disaster and damages someone’s property, it becomes complicated to decide whether home insurance will pay for the damage or not.
Different types of situations have different types of policies which are needed to be investigated before deciding if the insurance company is going to pay for the damage or not.
If a tree is healthy, but falls and damages any property, home insurance might pay for repairing costs and also pay for removal of the tree. Nobody is responsible for this, so the insurance company will pay the damages.
Can Neglect be proven?
Another scenario is if the homeowner neglects to take care of their tree and it already seemed to be visually failing before the incidents occurs. In these circumstances, home insurance might not take the responsibility to pay for their damages.
This is extremely hard to prove by insurance companies as everything is a mess after the tree comes down, but a lot of the time they do send their arborist to assess the job, so it is possible they could come to that conclusion.
If it is clearly visible that homeowners being careless in the maintenance of the tree in question, it will be classified as the owners problem even though the storm was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
What got damaged?
Although it will depend on the type of cover you have, in general regular home insurance will not pay for any fallen tree removal related cost if that tree falls and does not damage any kind of property.
If any neighbor tree falls and it damages any homeowners property home insurance will take care of the damages. It may vary from company to company, but the majority of insurers will take care of the damages.
If on the other hand, your tree falls on your neighbor’s home or premises and damages their property, they would have that right to claim damage fee to their insurance company and if the homeowner’s tree seemed to unhealthy from the very first place that homeowner would have to take responsibility for those damages.
Sometimes insurance may pay for removing a tree if that tree falls or blocks someone driveway. And sometimes homeowner might be disabled. In those cases sometimes home insurance pays for the tree removal costs. Some company might not have any policies like that, but most the company should cover you. Usually, insurance policies take responsibility for tree removal up to $10,000 per storm per home.
What’s the excess like?
In the end, it can be said that someone should not totally depend on reimbursement for the value of fallen trees. Many of the insurance companies don’t take the responsibility of fallen trees unless specified in your cover note.
One thing every homeowner should keep in their mind that they would typically have to pay for the excess costs before their insurance company helps them by paying their covered loss. Sometimes it’s not worth the trouble and you are just best getting it done yourself.
But again, it will depend on your coverage and excess for these types of issues.