My mother had a car hit a pine in the front yard and she said that the
insurance paid her for it.
My home owners insurance has a 1k deductible with replacement cost.
Lightning hit a very old very tall pine tree at the edge of my yard a
couple of days ago. The tree was split from at least half way up to
the ground. I am pretty sure it killed the tree and it will have to
be removed. I was wondering how much I could get for the tree and if
homeowners insurance should pay to have it taken down?
We had a house fire a few years ago that also destroyed a pine tree close to
the house. I believe our insurance gave us $500 for the tree and it was up
to us to decide how to spend the $. We spent it to have the tree removed.
Next door neighbor had 2 trees in his front yard. A lightning strike
got them both. His insurance paid him $500 per tree for removal, the
average rate in this area. Nothing for the value of the trees.
Sounds like the same insurer.
- Please note the word I used - probably. The OP would need to check
his own policy to make sure.
- What's a tall tree "worth"?
- The OP hasn't been damaged - yet - the tree has.
- If he "wins" the battle with the insurance company, it's a "ding" on
his record and he'll pay for it eventually.
- Depending on the OP's location, the $1000 deductible could easily
exceed the cost of taking the tree down.
- Pine trees are one of the easier trees to take down.
- The OP made no mention of getting quotes. He has no idea what it
will cost and he's already talking about insurance claims.
The OP should come to terms with the fact that he'd be shooting
himself in the foot by making a claim.
I disagree on almost each and every point other than pines being
relatively easy to take out/down...
He probably has been damaged economically if the tree was a good
specimen the loss of it can have a negative impact on the house value.
He is also out of pocket for cost of replacing it and/or removing it in
order to do so.
Insurance is, as you say earlier, carried for the purpose of being "made
whole" after an event which is covered. While this particular cost
might not be too much over the deductible, it makes little sense in the
scheme of things to pay premiums and then act as if one is self-insured.
It's best to talk w/ the insurance people first if there's any question
of whether it is or isn't a covered incident. Unless it is an actual
emergency that it is now imminently in danger of falling and doing
additional damage to the residence and/or other property or persons,
that's the sequence I would follow, too. If, otoh, there was a clear
and present danger, I would get the situation stabilized asap and deal
w/ the insurance later. Of course, if OP has time to come futz around
on usenet, that isn't an issue here. (Examples where it really is an
issue would be a damaged roof which needs immediate tarp'ing to prevent
further water damage from rain, etc. These costs are covered by
homeowners' policies because the insurance carriers understand they're
reducing the subsequent liability/exposure by reducing mitigating
imo, ymmv, etc., ...
Maybe so, but it's not insurable.
If the tree dies naturally - which is what lightning is, nature -
that's a negative impact. So, if it dies of disease or old age or
drought, should the insurance company pay for the loss. A tree limb
breaking off is a smaller negative impact, so do you feel the
insurance company should pay part of the value of the tree?
You could never get two people to agree on the monetary value - or any
other quantitative value for that matter - of a fully grown mature
tree. That makes it impossible to insure under a typical home owner's
policy. An insurance company is not going to open the floodgates to
claims indemnifying homeowners against tree loss. There'd be
literally millions of claims a year. It'd make the increased work
load and liability from a hurricane look trivial.
How do you replace a 40', or taller, pine tree? What do you think the
tree and root ball would weigh? Twenty tons? Forty? Obviously
that's not getting delivered and erected. So what's the alternative?
Here's a 15' tree, please weight 30 years? This makes no sense.
If you know you're right it makes little sense to avoid the small
arguments with somebody...that is unless you're married to the person
and want to keep it that way. Insurance companies are like that. You
can be 100% honest and correct in making claims, and your insurance
company can still drop you. It isn't "fair", it just is.
It depends what the policy says. I doubt if any normal policy pays
for limbs, or old age, and I don't know if any policy will pay for
lightning, wind, drought or disease, but they could write one and sell
one if they wanted.
I can imagine them doing so in places where the likely loss is low,
and they think it will attract customers.
Despite the name of the policy, many homeowners policies cover, or
used to, things stolen from the policy-holder and his family even when
he is not at home.
Also, you've heard of people getting their hands insured. Special
policies are written on request. Sometimes they bid out at Lloyds of
London, which is a group of insurers who will insure unusual things.
I think AIG in NYC will also bid on such things.
The same way they decide how much a house with its yard is worth.
Take the value with the tree and subtract the value without, and
that's the value of the tree.
Maybe they won't. Maybe they don't. But up until this sentence you've
been saying it's impossible.
They could put limits on the size of the tree for which claims can be
made. And they could have a schedule of payments for trees of certain
heights of certain species. My health insurance policy had a schedule
of how much they paid for various procedures.
I absolutely agree with whoever said here that one shoudln't insure
for losses he can bear. He should act as a self-insurer and most of
the time, he will get the profit. And he doesn't have to pay for the
paperwork that the insurance company has to do, or bother with his own
side of the paperwork. In the long run, he will come out ahead the
great majority of the time.
But some people, maybe like my mother, like to buy insurance, and
there are comparnies ready to sell it to them. If they are not going
to make money insuring trees at one premium, they'll increase the
My mother used to buy credit-card insurance. All this did is pay off
her balance if she died. The premium increased as her unpaid balance
increased. However she always paid the entire bill every month. Her
premium was low, but her unpaid balance was zero at the start of every
month, and no more than 30 to 200 dollars at the end of almost every
month. Then she turned 65 or 75 and they wouldn't sell her the
insurance anymore. So she made me the primary name on that credit
card, to have the insurance. I'm so stupid, it took me years to
notice that now it wasn't enough for her to die. I would have to die
instead for the insurance to pay off. I don't think they gave a
discount for my being 40 years younger. But she still bought it.
Actually, what I was thinking about when responding before was while in
Lynchburg, VA, and dealing w/ restoration of antebellum houses. A
couple of instances large, _really_ old specimen trees were damaged and
did recover some damages.
However, on reflection, while it was too long ago to recall for sure
now, I suspect there were riders on the policies for the specific trees
owing to their nature, and they weren't covered under the general
homeowners comprehensive clause.
Yep, that's basically how it was done in those cases...an arbitration
panel did it.
Actually, trees of that size can be and are replaced on occasion. "How"
is with large equipment just like dealing w/ structural steel or
anything else large and heavy. Isn't common as it is, as you say, far
too expensive for the average tree, but for commercial landscaping or
historical sites in particular, it certainly is part of what goes into
restoration and upkeep for, again, particularly valuable specimens.
One of the two that was involved with in Lynchburg was replaced the
other, for accessibility reasons, adjusted.
So on reflection I will agree, for the ordinary homeowners' policy and
the average backyard tree, it's unlikely to be covered other than some
minimal damage perhaps. But, all would take for OP would be a phone
call and ask if he has any recourse.
Homeowner's insurance usually only covers houses and out-buildings.
The auto insurance of the driver probably paid for your mother's tree.
A 50' wild cherry tree on my property fell into my neighbor's yard
during a hurricane, taking down a section of his split rail fence. My
Ins.Co. didn't pay for his damage or removal of my tree. I fixed the
fence and had to pay to cut up and remove the tree. They did give me
$250 for food spoilage because we had no power for 72 hours due to that
Give your homeowners insurance and ask about your tree.
You'd be a good neighbor to have. It's my understanding around here, (N.
IL.) that because it was an act of God and no negligence on your part (like
the tree was about to fall on its own and you had been given written
notification of such) that you would only have been responsible for the part
of the tree still on your property. The neighbor would have had to repair
his fence and pay to remove your tree from his yard. On another note, I had
a storm take a tree down on my garage once. Insurance paid to pull tree of
garage and repair to garage but once the tree was off the garage it was my
responsibility to have it removed from the ground.
Check with your agent. Allstate in NH paid $10/foot for my tree, which
came to $1000 (a 100' tree). Lightning strikes to "landscape" trees
(which are just about anything on your property) are often covered.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.