Dead trees on your property should not be taken lightly. They’re hazardous to you and your home and sometimes, to your neighbors and their home. Many assume the removal of this looming risk is covered by their homeowner’s insurance. The truth may surprise you.
We can’t talk about dead trees without first understanding why they die. Here are some common reasons why trees die—some preventable, some natural, some both.
- Overwatering (Preventable or natural)
- Excess Fertilizer (preventable)
- Excess Mulch (preventable)
- Drought (natural, sometimes preventable)
- Insect Infestation (natural, but preventable)
- Disease (natural, sometimes preventable)
- Natural Disasters (e.g. lightning, storms, ice, floods, forest fires) (natural)
- Car Accidents (preventable)
- Old Age (natural)
While we can’t always fight a tree’s death, too many trees die from preventable causes. So, keep an eye on the health of your trees. As necessary aids to human survival, they should be treated with the utmost care.
So, There’s A Dead Tree on Your Property
You’ve done everything you can to ensure that your trees live long, happy lives but one of them is dead or nearing death. Typically, your insurance company doesn’t care about the tree if it’s still standing, even if it poses a threat. Unless it has caused damage to your house or neighbor’s house, they’ll ignore your claim.
This doesn’t mean you should wait for the tree to fall. Damage to your home or your neighbor’s home, serious injury, and death are risks that are your responsibility to eliminate. Paying for tree removal can be expensive, but lives are priceless.
What tree issues will my homeowner’s insurance pay for?
Generally, if tree damage to your home is caused by something out of your control (e.g a storm), your homeowner’s insurance will cover the costs of loss of assets or loss of use. If an assessor reports signs of a previously existing hazard, some insurance companies will argue that a homeowner was negligent for not having the tree removed prior to causing the damage.
The Bottom Line
If a dead tree on your property is posing a threat to you and your home or other’s lives or property, it’s in your best interest to have the tree removed. Hire a professional to inspect trees that you suspect may be dead or dying and perform regular preventative checkups.
Chances are, your insurance isn’t going to cover the removal of dead trees and may not even cover the damage created by them.