April 20, 2015 in Insurance

Dear Insurance Adviser,
What kind of home insurance do I need to protect my home from falling trees?
— Edmonds

Dear Edmonds,
You’re in luck! Virtually all homeowners policies sold today cover damage to your home from falling trees. This is true whether the tree falls of its own volition or a storm blows the tree onto the house.

Home insurance policies cover the cost of repair plus the costs to remove the tree from the home. Some policies even provide supplemental coverage of up to $1,000 to cut up and remove the tree from the premises. Note that there is no such dollar limit on the cost of removing the tree from the home itself.

Since you’re asking the question, you probably have some beautiful old trees surrounding your home. And since having a claim of any kind is unpleasant and inconvenient, you may want to practice the risk management principle of “loss prevention” so any trees you’re concerned about won’t become a problem.

Perhaps it’s cutting down that old tree next to the garage that has been hollowed out. Perhaps it’s leaving the tree but removing large branches that are overhanging your house.

If you take some steps to prevent the loss from happening, you will not only save the inconvenience of repairing your home, but you will avoid having to pay your $1,000-or-more deductible.

To paraphrase the poet Joyce Kilmer:

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“I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.”

(Except when such tree hits my home

Then I wish it were a poem.)

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