Insurance Protection

If a Tree Falls, Who Pays?

This year’s weather has wreaked havoc on trees. So, if a tree does come down on your property, who is responsible for the cost of cleaning-up and repairing any damage caused by them?

Here is a general summary of what your homeowners insurance may or may not cover.

  • If a tree falls and does NOT hit another structure, your homeowners insurance will NOT cover the clean- up and disposal of the tree.
  • If a tree falls and DOES hit another insured structure (for instance, your home or garage), damage to the structure would be covered, subject to the policy deductible.  In addition, there may be some coverage for clean-up and disposal of the tree, but it is minimal coverage, typically $500 or $1,000 depending on the policy.
  • If a tree from your property falls on your neighbor’s house, your neighbor’s homeowners policy is going to be responsible and your neighbor should file a claim with their insurance company. The same holds true if their tree falls on your home, your insurance would cover the damage and you would need to file a claim.  However, if the felled tree was poorly maintained or diseased and no steps were made to take care of it, the insurer may seek reimbursement from the property owner where the tree originally stood for the damages.

Safety First

While it may seem like a more cost-effective option to handle removing a fallen tree yourself, extreme caution should be exercised and serious consideration given to hiring a contractor for such a dangerous task.  According to the CDC, each year more than 36,000 individuals in the United States are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries caused by using chain saws. Remember, if a downed tree is interfering with a power line, NEVER remove it yourself, you may be putting yourself in serious danger.

These are some general guidelines to coverage your homeowners policy may provide in terms of fallen trees.  To find out more specifics about your policy and learn about additional coverage options, check with your insurance provider. While we always hope for the best, you need to be prepared for the worst. Univest Insurance can help you protect what matters to you most including your home. Contact us at 877-723-5571.

Insurance products offered through Univest Insurance, LLC, a licensed insurance agency affiliate of Univest Financial Corporation, are obligations of and underwritten by unaffiliated insurance companies. They are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency of the United States and are not deposits of or guaranteed by any bank.


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