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Does Home Insurance Cover Falling Trees?

Insurance Cover Falling Trees

This may seem obvious to some, but others have posed good questions asking, “Does home insurance cover falling trees? The simple answer is, yes. Homeowners insurance can cover damage caused to your home or the other structures on your property caused by falling trees or branches.

In fact, home insurance can cover damage caused by trees that fall from adjacent properties, like a neighbor’s yard or city-owned property. These types of occurrences may bring up things like liability or negligence, or who really is responsible. Here’s the good news, your home insurance can cover the loss and assist in recovering from the responsible party.

How does home insurance cover falling trees?

This is another good question. Most home insurance policies are written as either open perils or named perils. Open perils provide for losses that are caused by anything that isn’t explicitly excluded, while named perils only over the things outlined, or “named”, in the policy. The good news is that both cover falling objects, like trees and branches.

Therefore, homeowners insurance may pay for damage to your home, personal belongings, or other structures located on your property. Of course, you will have to pay your property deductible. Additionally, if a branch or tree falls on your home, your home insurance may also pay for tree removal and cleanup. 


If a tree falls on your home causing damage and that damage is severe, you should immediately submit a claim to your home insurance. However, if the damage is minor, it may make sense to simply have a contractor provide a quote to see if the damage is within your deductible. If you are uncertain, it is always best to report the damage to your insurance carrier promptly, mitigate the damage, and take a lot of photos.

What if a tree falls but causes no damage?

If a tree falls on your property but doesn’t cause any damage to the house or other structures, you may still have coverage for tree removal expenses. However, for some home policies to cover removal, the cause of the tree falling may need to be one of the covered perils (eg. wind, the weight of ice, snow, or sleet). In fact, for simple removal, your policy may also require the tree to be blocking a driveway or other requirements.

What if a tree falls on my car?

This is an example of a common question and an example of where home and auto insurance work to close gaps in coverage. If a tree falls on your car, your auto policy provides coverage. Of course, you would have to have comprehensive coverage. This is part of your auto insurance coverage that provides protection against falling objects, theft, or vandalism.

What if a neighbor’s tree fell on my house?

We’ve established that home insurance will cover falling trees, but what if my neighbor’s tree falls on your home? In normal circumstances, your neighbor’s home insurance should cover the damage caused by the falling tree if there is negligence. 

However, if a neighbor’s tree falls on your house, causing damage, your home insurance may cover the damage if the tree fell as a result of a covered peril and meets any other requirements required by your coverage. If your neighbor was negligent, you could still have the damage repaired by your insurance carrier. If it’s clear the tree falling was your neighbor’s negligence, your insurance carrier can recover from your neighbor’s carrier under provisions called subrogation.

Negligence can often be challenging or expensive to prove. Therefore, if you notice a distressed tree on your neighbor’s property that is endangering your home, your should document your requests to have it removed. You can do this by sending a letter, or evening providing a report from a tree service outlining the potential danger presented by a distressed or dying tree.

What if there is no damage to my home?

If your neighbor’s tree falls on your property, but there is no damage to your home or other structures, then you just have a mess to clean up. Under normal circumstances, your neighbor will typically pay to have the tree removed as it will likely be on both properties and it’s the right thing to do. If they don’t, you’ll have to pay.

However, if the downed tree is blocking a driveway to your home or an entrance ramp used to assist a handicapped resident or guest, this may be considered a covered loss by your home insurance.

What if my tree falls on a neighbor’s house?

This is similar to the scenario above. If your tree falls onto a neighbor’s house, a business, or a city structure, their insurance will have to pay for the damage. However, if your tree was rotting, decaying, or damaged, you may have liability. If the other party can prove you were negligent in not removing a decaying, rotting, or dead tree, your insurance carrier may have to pay for the damages under personal liability coverage.

Is there coverage for tree removal?

If you identify deceased, hazardous, or dying trees on your property, it is your responsibility to have them removed. Your insurance carrier does not provide coverage for this service. Removal of unhealthy trees, brush, or shrubs is considered normal maintenance, and not covered under home insurance.


Proper yard maintenance is not just good for aesthetics, it’s also a good safety practice. Removal of hazardous brush and shrubs help reduce wildfire risk, and removal of unhealthy, hazardous trees can prevent claims. Moreover, it could help you avoid liability claims from neighbors.

The bottom line

Your home insurance does provide coverage for falling objects, which does answer your question, “does home insurance cover falling trees.” However, the best practice is to remove hazardous, distressed, or dead trees before they cause damage to your or your neighbor’s home. If you are uncertain, speak with your insurance agent to confirm what your home insurance coverage provides. You can also contact us, and we can provide a free consultation.

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