Will homeowners insurance pay to remove my tree that blew down in a storm?

Did the tree fall on your home, garage, or outbuilding? If so, homeowners insurance will pay cleanup costs based on the terms outlined in your policy. Some contracts cover debris removal for a specific amount, typically $500 - $1,000. Others pay a percentage based on the amount of structural damage, often capped at five percent. Coverage for structural damage to the dwelling, garage, or outbuilding is subject to the deductible and policy limit.

If the tree lands without hitting an insured structure, you're on your own. Homeowners insurance only pays for cleanup when there is structural damage.

You are not responsible for damage or cleanup if your healthy tree ends up on another person's property. Storms are 'Acts of God' beyond anyone's control. Your neighbor will need to get in touch with his homeowners insurer.

Overhanging limbs and dead trees put your house at risk. Keep branches trimmed away from the roof and remove problematic trees. These activities are important to preserving your property but are not covered by insurance. Homeowners insurance losses must be sudden and unexpected. Maintenance-related expenses are not covered.

Trees occasionally drop limbs on parked vehicles too. Homeowners policies do not insure vehicle damage. The car owner can make an auto insurance claim if his policy has comprehensive coverage and the damage exceeds the deductible. Owners with liability-only insurance must pay repairs out-of-pocket.