Are your trees and shrubs protected by your home insurance?

By Michele Lerner Posted : 05/08/2013

trees and shrub and home insuranceAre your trees and shrubs protected by your home insurance?

If your favorite tree has to be replaced, your home insurance may cover that expense depending on how it was damaged.

"Most home insurance policies provide only limited coverage for gardens, including damage covered by fire, lightning, vandalism, theft or a vehicle," says John Foster, vice president of personal lines for Penn National Insurance in Harrisburg, Pa. "There's generally no coverage for damage to the garden plants caused by the weather, such as a wind storm, hail or a flood, or by disease, decay, insects and animals."

David Suarez, director of marketing for Mercury Insurance Group in Los Angeles, Calif., says coverage for trees, plants and shrubs is typically limited to a percentage of your home insurance, usually 5 to 10 percent of your home's insured value.

"You'll also have a per-item limit which varies according to the policy and the carrier, typically around $500," says Foster. "Some companies may offer special enhancement endorsements for an additional premium that provides a limited amount of coverage such as $250 to $500 for damage to your trees, plants and shrubs caused by a windstorm, hail or the weight of ice or snow."

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