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Homeowners Insurance and Trees, What’s Covered?

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ash tree


Dead Ash Trees in your yard?  What does your insurance cover?  Removal of a dead or dying tree is considered a maintenance responsibility of the homeowner and so is not covered by your homeowners policy.  Removal of dead and dying trees is a significant expense, but the danger to children, pets and property warrants timely removal. If the tree falls and damages your roof or other structure covered by your policy, your insurance will pay for the repairs, less your deductable.  Your policy may or may not pay a minimal amount for tree debris removal.

What if your neighbor’s dead ash tree is a danger to your property?  Your homeowners  policy covers your home, your neighbors policy covers his home, where the tree is located is not an issue.

What if your neighbor ignores the dead tree posing a danger to your home?  This is a very tricky situation.  Your insurance company may try to get reimbursement from your neighbor’s policy.  You should document your efforts to alert your neighbor to the issue by sending him a certified letter requesting removal of the hazard.  This is no guarantee, but may encourage your neighbor to take action.

What does my policy cover regarding damage caused by falling trees or limbs? Coverage to insured structures is typically covered by homeowners insurance if the damage is caused by falling trees or limbs.

Trees weakened due to insect damage is not a covered peril.

One out of 10 trees in Ohio is an Ash Tree, and very few are likely to survive an Emerald Ash Borer attack.  Removal of these trees in considered a maintenance responsibility and is not covered by your homeowners policy.  When considering the risk to life, limb and property, removal is well worth the expense.


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