Wind Damage / Debris Removal and Your Insurance Policy – Am I covered?

 As many of us are starting to be asked these questions because of the severe weather, I thought this could also be some good information to share with everyone:

winter tree Most standard homeowner policies have wind/hail cover with a separate deductible (usually $1000.)    Often debris removal is a result of wind damage.  Most standard homeowner policies will cover debris removal up to  $500 per tree/ maximum of $1000 per incident depending on the carrier.    Debris removal coverage is triggered by a tree or branch falling on your covered structure such as your home, deck, shed, fence or if it blocks a driveway or handicap ramp.

**Some carriers will not pay for debris removal costs until the tree is brought to the ground.  Once the tree is on the ground they will pay for debris removal expenses from that point forward.

If a tree falls in your yard due to wind, there is typically not coverage for replacement of the tree/shrub on a standard homeowner policy however on many  Commercial policies coverage will apply for replacement of trees/shrubs up to a policy limit and deductible.   Check with the client on how the tree was brought down since wind may be covered but some carriers exclude for loss by weight of snow or ice.

A question often asked:  “ If a tree located on my property falls on my neighbors house, do I turn this in through my insurance company or does the neighbor turn in through theirs?”   The neighbor will submit the claim through their insurance company as it damaged their home, even though the tree that fell was located on your property.  Same as if the neighbors tree fell on your home….you will turn the claim in to your insurance company.

Another good point to remember is if a tree/limb falls on your vehicle.  This would not be a covered loss of your home owner policy.  This will fall under comprehensive coverage through your auto policy.

The information above is based on generalizations. Not every insurance policy is the same – so check your individual policy, or contact your insurance agent to find out specifically what is or is not covered, and to answer any questions you may have.

FAQ Tree Removal Download this PDF covering frequently asked questions regarding tree removal / coverage.

Jennifer Watkins | Claims Advocate

 Kapnick Insurance Group | simplifying insurance

333 Industrial Dr. | Adrian, MI  49221 |

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