Paul Walsh, CEO of Peopl Insurance
” I moved from the city to a rural area earlier this year. There are a lot of tall and mature trees around my new home. I’m worried that one of those trees might fall on my home in bad weather. Would my home insurance cover the damage?”
There could be major structural damage to your home if a tree falls on your roof during a storm. Most home insurers will cover damage caused by storms or fallen trees – though you could get caught out by underinsurance. Under-insurance is where your home is insured for less than the full cost of rebuilding it – or where the contents in your home are insured for less than it would cost to replace them. You could have to foot a big chunk of the repair bills yourself if a tree falls on your home and you have underinsured it – because your insurer will usually reduce its payout by the amount you’ve underinsured yourself by. So make sure the buildings sum insured – which is the most your insurer will pay if your home is damaged or destroyed and needs to be rebuilt – is right.
Be aware also that you may not be covered for damage caused by a fallen tree to gates, fences and garden furniture – if that furniture has been left out in the garden. This will very much depend on your insurer. Store away any garden furniture during the winter if you can.
As winter approaches, it’s always worth topping, trimming or even removing trees that are very near to your home – to reduce the risk of a tree falling on your property. Note though that damage caused to your property by fallen trees during felling or lopping may not be covered by your home insurance – so be sure to hire a reputable and fully insured tree surgeon if getting trees cut down.