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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Diseased Tree Removal?

By Teri Dormer

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Having trees and foliage decorating the space around your home is the definition of curb appeal. You’ll have to put in the work to keep the leaves from overgrowing or the branches from hanging too low, but in return, you’ll have lush greens and a thriving outdoor oasis you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. 

Unless of course, you find yourself having to deal with diseased or damaged trees. To protect your home or other foliage or because your local municipality is requiring that the diseased trees be removed, sometimes you have no choice but to uproot your trees and remove them completely. 

Homeowners insurance and tree removal can be tricky, and understanding your tree insurance coverage can depend on the specific circumstances of your predicament. So when can you expect your homeowners coverage to help you pay for the cost of tree removal and when are you on your own? Let’s take a closer look.

Will Insurance Pay for Tree Removal? 

There are specific situations when your insurance company will pay for the removal of trees from your yard and around your home where the tree is causing physical damage to your property.

While not all scenarios will qualify for assistance from your homeowners policy to cover tree removal insurance, there are certain exceptions. While most insurance policies won’t cover the removal of standing trees, homeowners insurance and tree removal could be covered in these instances: 

  • A tree falls in your driveway after a major storm
  • A tree becomes uprooted and falls into the fence in your yard
  • A tree collapses on your home
  • If you’re handicapped and a tree blocks the accessibility access points into your home

Even if there’s been a major storm in your area, many homeowners policies only cover tree removal up to a certain dollar amount. If multiple trees have been uprooted after a storm, even if they’re covered by your policy terms, you may still be required to pay out of pocket to have those trees removed. 

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Diseased Tree Removal?

Most homeowners insurance policies do not include the removal of diseased trees. Even though diseased trees can be a hazard to the other foliage in your yard, or even to your neighbor’s trees or landscaping, many homeowners insurance policies won’t cover the cost of removing them.

If a tree is still standing, you’ll likely be responsible for the cost of having it removed. If you know that a tree is diseased or in danger of collapsing and opt to do nothing, you could be held liable if that tree damages someone else’s home or property.

In some cases, you may be able to revive or salvage a diseased tree by pruning the damaged limbs and tending to the remaining healthy parts of the plant. Even without tree removal insurance, you may not want to attempt salvaging a damaged tree that could damage your home (or someone else’s) at a later point.

In addition to not covering the cost of tree removal if it’s still standing, many homeowners insurance policies won’t cover the cost of replacing the tree in your yard, regardless of how much it may have cost. Others will only value the total worth of your landscaping up to 5% of your home’s value. 

Will Insurance Help Me Remove a Dangerous Tree? 

If a dangerous tree is still standing in your yard, it’s unlikely that your homeowners insurance coverage will pay for its removal. Unless a tree has been partially or completely uprooted as the result of a storm or some other uncontrollable circumstance, your homeowners insurance and tree removal service likely won’t be playing well together.

While your yard is an import part of your home, it’s difficult for insurance companies to fully gauge the value of landscaping. Because it’s hard to put a firm dollar figure on what your trees are worth, most policies exclude removing damaged or diseased trees from your yard. 

Unfortunately, just because you don’t have tree removal service doesn’t mean you should avoid having a dangerous tree taken care of. If you neglect landscaping that you know is damaged or has the potential to become dangerous, you could be held liable for the damage that tree eventually causes. 

If a tree has fallen over or is starting to become uprooted, you may want to leave it alone long enough to call your insurance provider to understand what steps you should be taking next. If you do have tree insurance coverage, your insurance representative will be able to guide you on who to call next and what to do in the interim.

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