Does Homeowners Insurance Apply To Landscaping?
Yes, many homeowners policies do apply, in part at least, to your property’s landscaping and not just to its main dwelling, garage, and detached structures.
A standard policy will usually cover potential damage to trees, shrubs and plants, gazebos, flower beds, and various structures in your yard, and the turf itself. When you have invested a lot of money into beautifying your landscaping, it’s comforting to know that your homeowners insurer has got your back on that.
Coverable causes of landscape damage normally include lightning strikes, fires, theft/vandalism, explosions, and riots. Also covered is damage due to cars, trucks, motorcycles, airplanes, or other vehicles IF NOT YOUR OWN.
What Is NOT Usually Covered?
Not everything is covered by homeowners’ policies in regard to landscaping. First of all, a policy typically excludes damage caused by floods (flood insurance should cover that), strong winds, pests, rodents, insects, diseases affecting plant life, and hail. Note that damage to your building due to hail would be covered.
Coverage limits for landscaping losses are often capped at 5% of the main dwelling coverage limit. And most insurers will limit how much they will pay out per individual tree or bush or per high-priced plant. However, you can usually add extra coverage with a rider for a slight premium increase. For example, a per tree limit of $500 might apply, but you might be able to raise it to $1,000.
Sometimes, you can even get expensive landscaping/gardening tools covered for a small annual payment. But this varies from insurer to insurer. You will also have to meet a deductible before cost-sharing kicks in, as with other aspects of homeowners’ insurance.
Fallen Tree Related Coverage
Special attention needs to be given to fallen trees relative to landscaping coverage in a homeowners insurance policy. Now, if a tree falls and damages your dwelling or covered garage or detached structure, the damage will be covered even if tree removal is not.
On the other hand, if a badly rotted tree is not removed when you should have had it cut down, then it could be considered negligence and not be covered. If a neighbor’s tree falls and damages your property due to his or her negligence, however, your policy will cover it.
Finally, note that you can add coverage for fallen tree removal. This will then cover that cost if a tree falls in a storm or due to wind or some other weather event, regardless of whether or not it hits and damages any other property on the way down.
There are many complications and details related to how homeowners insurance can cover your home’s landscaping – and each insurer does things a little bit differently. If you have a lot of expensive hardscape and softscape on your lot, it’s important to get it adequately covered with the right policy.
To discuss covering your landscaping in your home insurance policy with an experienced expert or to get a free quote, contact Flagler County Insurance Agency today!