Trees are absolutely beautiful and can add character to a property. However, trees can also become the nemesis to any homeowner, particularly in southwest Florida. We experience hurricanes and other storms that come with high winds that can cause branches, limbs, and full trees to come down and damage your property.
So does homeowners insurance cover tree damage? The short answer: it depends. Learn more about homeowners insurance when it comes to tree damage in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and other nearby areas of Florida.
What does homeowners insurance cover?
Every policy is different, but insurance typically covers building damage caused by fire, storms, and even acts of vandalism. Your policy may also cover damage to outbuildings and structures like sheds, garages, fences, etc. Tree related damage is one factor where it depends on the circumstances.
In some cases, insurance will cover debris cleanup, but often only if there is damage to buildings or structures.
How can trees damage your property?
Trees can cause damage to fences, roofs, sheds, and other structures. Hurricanes and high winds can knock over an entire tree or cause numerous big limbs and branches to potentially break off and fall onto your property.
Storms aren’t the only things that can cause trees to fall. Diseased trees can decay on the outside and inside, making them weaker and more susceptible to falling. Trees with signs of rot should be trimmed or removed before they fall and cause damage because insurance often doesn’t cover it (more on that later).
Whose tree is it anyway?
Many homeowners experience home damage due to trees from their own property. In many cases (but not all), insurance may cover this. But what happens if the tree is in a neighbor’s yard?
Tree ‘ownership’ is based on which property it lives on, so if the neighbor’s tree falls on your property and causes damage, it’s now the neighbor’s issue. If the tree fell due to a covered force of nature, your insurance policy may cover it, but if it’s due to rot or neglect, you will need to file a liability claim with your neighbor’s insurance company.
Force of nature, or neglect?
The reason for the tree damage makes a big difference in what insurance will cover. For example, if a storm causes a limb to fall on the roof, you’re likely covered. However, if the tree has unchecked rot or disease and was already at risk of falling, it’s considered neglect, and most insurance policies will not cover this.
Homeowners policies typically don’t cover damage to your automobile. Auto insurance may cover this though, and damage from a neighbor’s tree may result in a liability claim if the tree falls due to neglect.
Has a tree or limb caused damage to your property? Don’t wait. Call us today.
We have provided expert tree services for residential and commercial properties since 1989. We provide a variety of tree services, including removal and emergency cleanup, to Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and other areas of Florida. Call us today at (239) 994-6384 to schedule a property visit as soon as possible.