Homeowners covers damage to other structures and clean up
Homeowners pays for any damage to your belongings, home, or other structure on your property (garage, deck, shed, swing set, fence, etc.). Plus, it will pay for the tree removal and clean up. You just have to pay your deductible, and that’s it.
See more on how homeowners insurance deductibles work and how to pick the right one for you.
Common coverage situations with trees
A tree falls in your yard but doesn’t damage anything
If there are no damages to your house, other structures, or belongings, insurance typically won’t pay for the removal or clean up. And no, damage to your beautiful lawn or another tree, bush, or shrub doesn’t count. Sorry! Many times, the removal or clean up will actually cost less than your deductible.
Your neighbor’s tree falls on your house or other structure
Your homeowners insurance covers it, and you’d have to file a claim with your company. But, if it’s clearly a dead or rotting tree, you could claim that your neighbor was negligent and should have removed it.
Keep in mind, negligence can be very difficult to prove. It would help your case if you previously asked your neighbor to remove it or you have a letter from a certified professional saying it needs to be removed.
Why it matters: If your neighbor is deemed negligent, their homeowners insurance covers it.
Your tree falls on a neighbor’s house or other structure
Your neighbor’s insurance pays for it. But, if your neighbor can prove you were negligent by not removing it, your insurance might pay. Similar to the above example, negligence in this case will also be difficult to prove, and your neighbor may even need a letter from a certified professional saying it needs to be removed.
Their insurance will still cover it if the tree didn’t actually hit anything and is simply blocking their driveway or a ramp leading up to their house.
Tree falls on your house or other structure while another company removes it
That company’s insurance pays for it. For example: A company you, your neighbor, or a cable/internet provider hired to remove or trim the tree. If you ever hire someone, make them show you their proof of insurance first (specifically liability insurance).
If they aren’t insured, you may have to pursue legal action to get them to pay for it.
Credits: Progressive Insurance