One of the questions that tree services companies often get asked is, “Will my homeowners insurance policy pay for tree removal?” The answer is, “It depends.” There are only certain circumstances in which you can successfully collect on a claim for tree removal.
First of all, they won’t pay for a tree that is still standing, even if it is damaged or leaning ominously toward your home. An insurance policy is designed to cover damage, not the threat of damage, to your home. Taking care of a damaged or diseased tree falls under normal home maintenance. In fact, if you know the tree is in bad shape, but you don’t have it removed, and it later falls on your home and causes damage, they may deny your claim altogether since you did not take known and necessary precautions.
Secondly, your insurance company won’t pay for tree removal for a tree that has fallen on your property due to a storm or other cause, unless the tree damages your home. If they don’t deny the claim as noted previously, then they will likely pay for the damage caused and also a limited amount toward tree removal. Keep in mind that the amount of your policy limits is per occurrence, not per tree, so if you have more than one tree fall on your home, you get the same amount, as though only one tree fell.
If the tree in question was your neighbour’s tree, don’t expect that your neighbour’s insurance company will do anything for you. Each of you will need to take care of the tree removal for the portion in your own yard, unless you can prove your neighbour was negligent about the tree removal of an obviously ill or precarious tree.
When in doubt, go over your policy and read the section regarding this type of claim, or call your insurance agent for clarification. If all goes well and you can make a claim, also check to see if they will provide an allowance for a new tree. Should you need a quote for tree removal, give us a call at Hudson Tree Services. We serve the Toronto, ON area.