Trees are a beautiful feature of many properties and homes, but what happens if a tree falls on your house, or you get damage to your property from trees? Does insurance cover fallen trees and related damage? It all depends on what the cause of the damage is. Home insurance will cover many forms of damage caused by trees, but may not cover everything. Here’s what you can expect from your home insurance if a tree falls on your house and causes damage, or if a tree causes property damage and you want to make a claim.
Is Tree Damage Covered By Insurance?
Your home insurance covers certain risks and perils. For example, lightning and windstorm are two common perils. The first step in understanding if your home insurance will cover tree damage is to understand if the damage was sudden and accidental, or if it would be considered gradual damage. Insurance is meant to cover sudden and accidental damage and not gradual damage or home maintenance.
An example of gradual damage is when the roots of a tree grow into parts of your home or plumbing. The damage where the roots of the tree have been growing into would not be covered because roots do not grow overnight, this is gradual damage. However, if the damage caused a secondary issue like your pipe bursting and water enters your home suddenly, then you might be covered for the water damage. Learn about types of water damage coverage by reading more here.
What Kinds of Tree Damage Does Home Insurance Cover?
Different insurance policies have different special limits or policy coverages. Weather-related damage or storm damage is often covered by insurance. If you have an all-risk policy, vs. a named perils policy, your insurance will cover different things. If your tree or home was damaged by a hurricane, learn more about Hurricane and Wind damage specifically. You can also learn more about wind damage and tornadoes in this article.
When Someone Else is Responsible: Subrogation and Insurance Claims
Remember the case we talked about above, where the neighbors tree falls on your house, and your insurance company pays? Insurance companies do this to make your life easy, but they also understand that ultimately someone else may be responsible for the damage. If they feel that a third party like a neighbor is responsible for the damage, then they will take care of you first, but then they will go after the responsible party in what they refer to as subrogation. If they are successful in recovering the costs of the claim in subrogation, then they may be able to reimburse you for the deductible when everything is settled.