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Who Pays for Fallen Tree Removal

by Ragini Salampure
Who Pays for Fallen Tree Removal

If a tree falls near your home and causes damage, the insurance company will have to step in and cover for the cost of the damaged property and removal of the tree. Some insurance companies however limit what they will compensate for tree removal.

If the tree fell after a storm for example and did not cause any damage to any structure or property, you will have to remove debris and pay for the removal yourself. This is because there are no damages to file a claim for.

There is however an exception to this. In some cases, if a tree has fallen and is blocking a ramp for disabled persons or you can’t access your driveway. For this situation, the insurance company will cover the cost of tree removal.

Who Pays for the Damages if the Tree Causes Damage Next Door?

Should a tree in your property fall and land on the neighbor’s property, the neighbor will have to claim compensation from his or her insurer.

If however, the tree has fallen due to your negligence, you are at risk of being sued. Your neighbors will have to make a claim against your insurers. 

This might be the case if you knew the tree was deemed hazardous by a certified arborist and required to be removed yet you failed to do so. 

The neighbors, in this case, will be required to file a lawsuit against you especially if your insurance company denies the claims.

The insurance company will defend you in that lawsuit if you have liability insurance. Should they determine that you were responsible, a settlement offer could be offered and the neighbors would sign a release. This is referring to an agreement in which they promise not to sue again.

Your insurers will then have to compensate as much as possible in your homeowner’s liability insurance.

If the tree is found close to boundary fences, each neighbor will be required to pay 50% of the cost to repair the damaged fence.

Can Damaged Landscape Be Covered?

Sometimes a tree falls and damages shrubs, other trees, or plants. In this case, your homeowner’s insurance company is responsible for paying you up to a certain amount to replace the damaged plants. 

This is only possible if the damage was caused by ‘named perils’. 

The ‘named perils’ may include lightning, windstorms, or wildfires. Vandalism or car crashes are also included. The maximum amount you can receive for such a situation is about 5 percent of the amount your home is insured for.

How Much Can You Get Paid for in a Tree Claim?

The average amount paid by homeowner’s insurance for tree claims was approximately $4,110. About seven percent of the most settled claims are as a result of a fallen tree.

What is Not Covered by the Insurance Company?

If the tree dies on your property, you are responsible for having it removed before it comes crashing down. Some people like to leave the tree to fall on its own to claim insurance, the insurance company is likely not to compensate you in such cases.

If a property has been damaged, it might be covered but the insurance company can get out of it by claiming negligence caused the damages. You will then have to pay for the tree removal yourself.

It is your responsibility as a homeowner to look after the trees on your property. Have a certified arborist come over and inspect it once in a while to know its condition. Prune off dangerously hanging branches, generally just keep your trees on high maintenance.

How Much Does It Cost to Have a Tree Removed?

Now come to the question: how much tree removal costs? The cost of a fallen tree ranges from $150 to $1900. The average amount is $622 for the year 2020. Removing a fallen tree is about 50% cheaper than the cost of removing a standing tree of the same size. 

This is because the careful and hard work required to get the tree safely on the ground is done. The remaining task is cutting up the tree and removing it.

How Do You Determine the Cost of a Fallen Tree?

When determining the price of removing a fallen tree, a few things should be kept in mind. the most considered factors are the trunk diameter, the height of the tree, and where your property is located.

If the fallen tree is big the cost to remove it will be high. The price might also go up if the area the tree is on your property is not easily accessible by big heavy machines. If the tree removers have better access to the tree, the job will be done quickly for a cheap price.

To save a few bucks you could ask the tree removal company not to remove it but just to cut up the tree. The cutting part is a piece of cake, removing it is where most time will be spent. 

You could ask them to remove only the big and thick branches. The rest you could dry and sell them for firewood.

How to Get a Good Fallen Tree Removal Service?

To remove a fallen tree, you just have to find a tree removal service near you. This can be done by just typing out ‘tree removal services in..’ and entering your location. Do not go for companies that are on the top list. They charge a lot of money for their services.

If your tree has just fallen due to a storm, it is likely that other trees have fallen too. It is best to wait at least a week or two until the customer rush has gone done down. You are more likely to get a good price when a few customers are demanding their services.

<How Can You Avoid the Problem of a Fallen Tree?

To protect yourself from unforeseen damages, you should always have an arborist visit your property once in a while. A certified arborist is qualified to cut down or trim overgrown trees and lop off your tree once it hits the property line.

If you suspect that your tree is diseased or dying, have an arborist look at it and advise you on the way forward. Where trees are prone to having their branches fall down or if you have reasonable suspicion that a tree on your property is unsafe take the necessary precautions.

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