Among the countless benefits of trees is the perk that they add an annual boost to our property value.
So, we want to do everything we can to protect them. Plus, if a big tree falls during a storm, it could do serious damage.
Before the next storm, answer two important questions to keep your home, tree, and wallet safe. Is your tree healthy enough to survive a severe storm? If your tree were to fall, does homeowner’s insurance cover tree loss or tree removal?
Many homeowners and renters’ insurance policies keep you covered if high winds, hail and other types of storms take down trees. Often, policies don’t cover tree claims if the tree falls but doesn’t damage your home or any structures, like a garage or fence.
Either way, there’s usually a clause. If a tree needed to be removed before a storm, you could be looking at an out-of-pocket expense.
Because of this, when an arborist recommends removing a tree, schedule the appointment as soon as possible. Then, hopefully, you can avoid any problems with your insurance company.
Tornados and winter storm damage are two of the biggest causes of tree damage insurance claims.
Other than a direct hit, tree debris or wind-damaged trees generate the majority of tornado-related home and auto damage, according to a Nationwide study. They found the average auto claim to be $4,000 while the average home claim for tornado damage is $24,000.
Winter wind claims are around $7,000 while snow or ice claims average $4,757, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III) research.
2 out of 3 homeowners are underinsured, so often, they end up having to pay additional costs, according to Nationwide.
Then, after a single claim is filed, your insurance rates could increase by an average of 9 percent, according to III data.
Be proactive with your tree care and schedule regular tree inspections.
If you’re aware of the tree’s risk ahead of time, you have a better chance of preventing damage. Investing in long-term tree health is almost always more cost-effective.