Regardless of the season, there are always possibilities for tree damage whether from ice, snow, winds, or other covered perils. When this happens, it makes us wonder, “Does homeowners insurance cover damage from a fallen tree and who will pay for tree debris removal?”
If you have a basic North Carolina Homeowners Policy, coverage is only provided if a fallen tree damages a covered structure such as:
- Garage, or
Coverage would also be provided if the fallen tree/debris blocks the driveway to the residence or blocks handicap access to residence.
Another question people have is “What if my neighbor’s tree falls on my property? Is that covered?”
The same coverage applies as if it was your own tree on your property.
However, let’s say that your neighbor knew this tree was dying or already dead, and the tree falls on your home or structure. Your neighbor MAY be responsible for tree removal or damage that tree caused. Each situation is different so it’s important to always contact your independent agent with your concerns and questions.
So, what about tree debris removal?
On the standard North Carolina Homeowners Policy, there are tree debris removal limits of $500 per tree, up to $1000 limit regardless of the number of trees provided the fallen tree hits a covered structure. Please be aware that there is no coverage for tree replacement!
Did you know you may be able to add an endorsement for debris removal that would provide coverage for removal of tree(s) that have fallen due to a covered peril, regardless of any damage to a building, blocked driveway or ramp?
Coverage limits may vary depending on the type of endorsement that you select. Always contact your independent agent for further information so that you will be knowledgeable when/if a loss occurs. Coverage may vary due to the state in which you live, or policy conditions.
For tree debris removal, on a standard Homeowners Insurance policy, a deductible will apply. When a loss happens, your loss amount must be greater than your deductible to receive a claim payment. For example, if you have a $1000 deductible and your claim is valued at $2000, your claim payment would be $1000.
$2000(claim value) – $1000 (deductible) = $1000 (claim payment)
Let’s say that your claim is worth $400, yet your deductible is $1000, you would have no claim because your deductible is greater than the loss.
It is always better to feel confident about what will happen should a tree fall on your property. Please contact our office at 866-869-3335 so that I may assist you with your concerns and questions! I am always willing to provide the best service possible!
Tom Wiecek, President
Paramount Insurance Agency