If a Tree Falls on My House, Am I Covered?

Published: July 2014

Picture this: It's late and you've just gotten into bed. A storm's raging outside, the wind's howling around the house and you can hear the rain pounding on the roof. But you feel cozy and secure inside your nice, warm home.

A tree falls on a house during a storm.

However, just as you're falling asleep, you hear a loud "crack" and a deafening crash. Suddenly, the noise of the storm is much louder. With a sinking heart, you climb out of bed and go to the attic to investigate. . . only to find a huge tree limb in the middle of your attic. Worse: Driving rain is coming in through a gaping hole in the roof, and water's already trickling along the walls to the floor. And when you go outside to see what's happened, you see the decades-old oak tree next to your house has succumbed to the wind.

Get A Quick, Personalized Home Quote Today.

Get a quote >

Having A Dedicated Agent Can Make All The Difference.

Find an agent >

Hopefully, you'll never have to deal with a situation like this. But if you do, can you file a claim with your homeowners insurance company? If so, what costs might be covered and what will you likely have to pay for yourself? Read on for some frequently asked questions about trees and insurance.

Q: If a tree falls on my property, will my homeowners insurance policy cover it?

A: The answer to this question is, "It depends." A homeowners insurance policy typically protects your home against specific causes of loss, known as perils. These perils are generally sudden and accidental in nature, such as fire, with a few exceptions, such as theft—but a cause of loss that is attributed to some negligence or could be prevented through proper maintenance typically isn't covered.

So, when thinking about insurance coverage as it relates to a tree falling on a house, the situation that caused the tree to fall is important. If the tree was otherwise healthy and a windstorm knocked it down, as described above, then typically, a homeowners insurance policy would help to cover the damage. But, if the tree was rotting, and ready to fall down anyway, then your homeowners policy may not cover the damage.

Q: What if the tree doesn't damage anything?

A: If a tree falls down and causes no damage, meaning your house doesn't need any repairs, your homeowners insurance policy typically will not help to cover the tree itself. So, if you need the tree to be removed, you'll most likely have to pay for it yourself.

Q: What happens if the tree was on my neighbor's property?

A: If, as described above, the reason the tree fell was sudden and accidental—such as a storm knocking down a healthy tree—it does not matter whose tree hits your house; your own homeowners insurance policy would help cover the damage to your home.

Q: Am I responsible if a tree from my property damages my neighbor's property?

A: As in the question above, you're typically only considered responsible if neglect on your part was a contributing factor to the tree's demise. If not—if a storm knocked your healthy tree onto your neighbor's house—your neighbor will have to file a claim with his or her own insurance.

Q: If a tree falls onto the street, am I responsible for removal costs?

A: This depends on where you live. Most municipalities cover the costs of removing the tree from the street, but in many cases, if a part of the tree is still on your property, you would have to cover the removal costs. Check with your town, city or county for its policy.

Q: I just had my garden landscaped, and now the fallen tree has damaged many of my plants. Will my insurance cover these costs?

A: Many homeowners insurance policies do not cover damage caused to the landscaping by a fallen tree, if there is no damage to a building.

Incurring major damage to your home is always stressful, but if your home is damaged, your homeowners insurance is there to help.

Related Resources:

Coverage subject to terms, conditions, and availability. Policy issuance is subject to qualifications. Allstate Insurance Company, Allstate Indemnity Company, Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL. © 2014 Allstate Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL.

Get A Quote

Your location is set for:

Ashburn, VA 20147 Edit

GET A QUOTE

Retrieve a saved quote

Agents Near 20147

  • Malan Chakravarthi
    Malan Chakravarthi
    20609 Gordon Park Sq Ste 130
    Ashburn, VA 20147
  • Kristin Mullah
    Kristin Mullah
    44110 Ashbrn Shpg Plz Ste 2
    Ashburn, VA 20147
  • Wendy Moore
    Wendy Moore
    44075 Pipeline Plz Ste 305
    Ashburn, VA 20147
  • Mo Parsay
    Mo Parsay
    44355 Premier Plz Ste 210
    Ashburn, VA 20147
  • Sina Djalili
    Sina Djalili
    42882 Truro Parish Dr Ste 103
    Ashburn, VA 20148
More Agents
ECC Monitor: OK