Tree Services of Omaha - Omaha, Nebraska
by David Steg on 04/06/16
What Does Insurance Cover?
As a homeowner, we all know how important insurance is. It is important to understand that not everything is covered under your insurance policy, especially when it comes to tree damages. This blog will cover some of the basic understandings of what you need to know about trees and your insurance. It is important to check with your insurance provider to understand what is and isn’t covered in your policy. Again, this is a general rule of thumb and each case can be treated differently.
Am I covered if a tree falls on my house?
The answer to this question is typically yes. Nebraska is known for its sudden and violent winds, so if a tree gets uprooted then it is likely covered. Healthy trees are usually covered, especially if it is caused by weather phenomena or other accidental causes. Often the insurance company will pay to have the tree removed and any other damages. Tree’s that are not properly maintained could pose a different problem. Most insurance companies will not cover a tree that is rotting or already damaged. This can fall back on the homeowner for not properly maintaining their tree, and insurance will decline the claim.
Do I have to take the lowest bid if my insurance company requires three bids?
This can depend on the state. Most states will go with one of the lower options, but if the bids are in line with each other, usually it doesn’t pose a problem. It is suggested that the homeowner look into the states insurance policy on bids. It is always important to get this information in writing, along with the credentials of the arborist to ensure the job won’t pose new problems.
What if a tree falls, but doesn’t cause damages?
Usually insurance will not cover a fallen tree, if it didn’t cause damages to a car or home. The clean-up of this scenario is more often paid by the homeowner and not insurance.
What if my neighbor’s trees falls on my property?
This is one of the more tricky scenarios that a lot of people are not properly informed. The ownership of the tree has little to do with anything. Anything that damages a structure on your property would be a claim against your homeowners insurance. It doesn’t matter who owns the tree. The property line determines which policy will go into place. If a tree branch is growing over your home, I suggest to have a tree care professional remove the limbs to prevent future damages. You don’t have to get permission by the neighbor, but the tree can only be trimmed to the edge of the property line.
Who is responsible if one of my trees falls into the street?
Each city has different ordinances, but usually the city will take care of it. The city could issue a citation if the tree resides on your property and is falling into the street or over sidewalks. Depending on the origination of the tree, it could be your responsibility but I would check with the city codes in your area.
Does insurance cover tree damages to my landscaping and plants?
Typically insurance will not cover damages to a garden, plants, and landscaping. The tree would need to damage an insured structure to qualify for coverage. Insured structures would include decks, fences, and out buildings.
It is very important to maintain happy and healthy trees. As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to provide property maintenance to your trees. Tree work can be costly, but it costs a lot more when damages occur. I suggest having a certified arborist trim your trees every 3-8years, depending on the tree and its branch structure. A properly trimmed tree will stay healthy, add curb appeal, and prevent insurance claims.