While the trees surrounding your home are an aesthetically pleasing feature that add value to your property, they can also be a source of costly structural damage if they are brought down by a severe storm. Consequently, you may have concerns about your homeowner’s insurance coverage and whether any damage your home incurs will be covered by your policy. Although a range of damages are often covered, do you know if your policy covers tree damage and other structural harm related to it?
Coverage for Tree Damage
Granted, home insurance policies cover a wide range of damages attributed to trees, it may not cover all types. If a tree crashes down on your home or if other types of property damage occurs, here’s what to expect if you file a claim. Home insurance normally covers certain perils and risks. For example, two common perils would be lightning and windstorms.
It’s important to understand if your coverage applies to damage that’s accidental or sudden, or if the damage was considered as gradual. Homeowner’s insurance coverage is intended for damage that is accidental or sudden, not damage that has occurred gradually or damage caused by home maintenance. If you’re unsure about the types of coverage you have, consult with your agent or representative.
Accidental or Sudden vs. Gradual or Hidden Damage
An example of accidental or sudden damage is when is when strong winds uproots one or more of your trees and it crashes into the structure of the home. Conversely, gradual damage results when tree roots have grown into the home or the plumbing system. Since tree roots don’t grow into a home overnight, the damage has occurred gradually and is not covered. However, a secondary issue such as water flooding your home as a result of a burst pipe, you may have water damage coverage that will address this.
No two homeowner’s policies are alike in that coverages and limits differ. Damage that is storm or otherwise weather-related are often covered. Furthermore, if your policy has all-risk coverage versus named perils coverage, you need to know how they differ from one another. Policies for hurricane and tornado damage are available as well. Based on the nature of the damage, you may or may not be covered. Chances are, you’ll be covered provided the tree was healthy and it wasn’t a home maintenance issue.
In cases where your homeowner’s insurance company has denied a valid damage claim for fire, storm, theft, or vandalism, you should consult with a home insurance lawyer and learn what your options are. Getting a fair settlement is crucial to helping you recoup your financial losses. If you feel that a valid damage claim has been denied, call Korin Law P.A. at your earliest convenience.