Insurance Claims FAQ

Insurance Claims

Frequenty Asked Questions

It depends on the circumstances. Homeowner’s insurance does not cover the cost of removing a tree that has not yet fallen. The homeowner is responsible for paying for general maintenance of the home and yard, such as pruning trees or removing a dying tree. But, if a tree fell during a storm and damaged your home, insurance generally would pay for repairs to fix the damage and for the tree removal.

Homeowner’s insurance generally does not cover removal of a tree unless it falls on a fence, garage or home, causing damages to the property. Sometimes home insurance will pay for removing a tree if it falls and blocks your driveway. Or, if you’re disabled, it might pay if the tree blocks your wheelchair ramp. Check your policy or call your agent to see. Call your town or city government to learn what to do if a tree from your yard falls into the street. Some municipalities will remove the tree, and others will require you to do it.

If a tree from your yard fell on a neighbor’s home, your neighbor would file a claim on his or her home insurance policy. But you could be held liable if the tree was dying and you had been warned about the hazard. If you suspect a tree on your property might be dying call National Tree Service now for a no-obligation assessment.

Most of the time, you do not need to wait for an adjuster. Normally when a tree falls on a house, yours is not the only tree downed. Weather conditions can cause trees all around your neighborhood or even your state to come falling. In cases like these, there are not enough adjusters to be able to tackle the needs of the insurance companies in a swift and efficient manner.

In almost every case, it’s not necessary. More specifically, if you are in a dangerous situation and a heavy tree is perched or elevated in a way that is threatening, keeping people and property safe is the priority. Your insurance company doesn’t want you to feel as if they are forcing you to get estimates. Also, if the tree were to fall on a person, a child, a dog, etc. due to waiting on estimates, your insurer does not want that liability. If the charges are “reasonable and customary”, your insurance company will typically cover them.

Typically, insurance policies cover “modified structures” on the property. Modified structures include your house, garage, storage shed outside, fence, deck, patio, even a raised garden bed or a child’s playset. Anything that is permanently affixed to the ground is typically considered a modified structure on the property and is usually covered under homeowner’s insurance if a tree falls on it. It’s still important to note that there are some specific stipulations for this insurance to kick in as noted below:

Most insurance policies only cover modified structures on the property. Unless you have an extra “tree rider” on the policy, which explicitly covers damage to your trees, then the tree itself will not be covered unless the tree hit something. The items that your insurance company will typically cover for a tree that has fallen on a structure.

  • Removal of a fallen tree from a structure
  • Hauling of the tree’s debris off site

It depends on the circumstances. Keep in mind that your insurance policy is typically a binding legal contract to cover modified structures on your property. When a tree falls, usually the stump does not interfere or interact with any modified structures on the property. However, sometimes an uprooted stump will damage underground utilities such as sprinkler lines, underground cables, underground plumbing or sewer systems. It can also damage a patio, pathway, or fence. In cases where it has disrupted a modified structure on the property, the stump must be ground out in order to bring the modified structure on the property back to its original state. In these cases, insurance companies will typically cover stump grinding.