Landscaping is expensive, takes time to establish, and adds a lot of value and curb appeal to your home. So, what happens when part of your landscaping is damaged? Do you have to pay for it out of your pocket, or is there insurance coverage to soften the financial blow?
Homeowner’s Insurance to the Rescue
Your homeowner’s insurance will often cover landscaping, so long as it is damaged by something known as a covered peril. Out of the many perils that can befall your property, the list of those that allow coverage for landscaping damaging is short:
- Fire or lightning
- Riot or Civil Commotion
- Theft or Vandalism
- Damage caused by someone else’s vehicle
What Isn’t Covered
It is important to note what is not covered. This includes damage caused by:
- Hail and Wind*
- Pests and Vermin
- Ice and Snow
*Although some policies will cover the removal of felled trees.
If damage is due to flooding, it will be covered only if you have a separate flood insurance policy that covers it.
Your policy may cover only the removal of dead plants, trees, and shrubs, or it may also include reimbursement for the damaged items.
Residential Property Only
It is also important to note that this coverage is only for homeowners, not businesses, so if you use your landscaped yard or garden for business purposes, the claim will be denied. And unlike coverage for personal property, the landscaping must be on the property of your residence to be covered. Your policy will not cover a community garden plot or shared green space.
How much Coverage are We Talking About?
The standard coverage limits your claim to 5% of your total dwelling limit and not more than $500 per item. You can, however, purchase additional coverage, which can often double your coverage for as little as an additional $50-$100 per year. These endorsements can even extend coverage to expensive gardening and landscaping tools and machinery.
Property Damage Due to Trees
Often, policies will cover structures damaged by a fallen tree, even if the tree isn’t covered (due to it being taken down by wind). It is essential to see what your specific policy says. However, insurance will not cover damage to a structure that was damaged due to a tree on your property that you neglected. If it was your neighbor’s tree and it fell on your house—that’s another matter.
It can get complicated. Thankfully, the independent insurance agents at Hermann Insurance Services are here to help. Contact us today!