Does homeowners insurance cover landscaping damage?
Last updated: January 1
Depending on the scenario, homeowners insurance policies may help cover landscaping damage. Homeowners insurance may help cover damage to your yard, including trees, shrubs, plants and surrounding structures.
It's a good idea to understand what your insurance covers — and what it may not — before the unexpected occurs. Here are some things to consider.
Homeowners insurance coverage for landscaping
Standard homeowners policies generally help pay to replace trees, shrubs and plants against specific perils such as fire, lightning, explosion, vandalism, theft and damage caused by someone else's vehicle. Keep in mind that there are other risks to landscaping that are typically not covered by homeowners insurance. These risks include damage caused by weather conditions — such as hail, wind, and the weight of ice and snow — and damage caused by insects, pests or diseases.
Homeowners insurance policies typically have limits on how much landscaping coverage is available. Some homeowners insurance policies limit coverage for landscaping to a percentage of the dwelling protection. In addition, you'll likely find that there are limits set on how much a policy will pay to help replace each tree or shrub.
You'll likely need to pay a deductible, too, before any coverage kicks in. Read your policy or contact your insurance provider to learn the terms and conditions of any landscaping coverage your policy may provide.
Homeowners insurance coverage for fallen trees
Homeowners insurance may help pay for the cost of repairs if your home or another structure, such as a shed or fence, is damaged by a fallen tree.
Homeowners insurance may help protect structures on your property even in situations where it doesn't cover the tree itself. For example, if a tree blows over in a strong wind and damages your shed, insurance would typically not cover the cost of replacing the tree, but it may help pay to repair the shed.
If a tree falls on a structure on your property — a shed or fence, for instance — homeowners insurance may help pay to remove the fallen tree. However, the III says that if a tree falls on your property but doesn't damage any structures, insurance usually won't cover the cost of clearing away the tree.
It's important to note that insurance likely won't cover damage to structures if the damage was caused by your own negligence or lack of maintenance. For example, if a tree starts to rot on your property, and later falls and hits your house, it's likely insurance would not cover that loss. But if your neighbor's rotting tree falls and damages your home, your insurer may help cover the damage, the Insurance Information Institute (III) explains.
Read your policy to determine what protections you have in place. Your insurance provider can help answer questions or help you make changes to your coverage.