A healthy lawn can increase curb appeal and boost property value. Not surprisingly, lawn care is a pretty big business. Over the last 5 years, the landscaping industry in the U.S. has grown about 5% per year. In 2018, a whopping $93 billion was spent on landscaping. And anyone who’s invested in landscaping their home’s exterior knows just how costly installation and maintenance can be. But should your trees or shrubs ever get damaged, would they be covered by your homeowners insurance policy? Let’s take a closer look.

Removal of damaged trees, shrubs, and plants

A standard homeowners insurance policy typically doesn’t cover damages to land. But it may cover the removal of damaged plant life due to certain hazards — usually fire, lightning, theft, explosions, or damage caused by someone else’s vehicle. If, say, a big storm or fire damages your property, you may be eligible for coverage of about $500 per damaged tree, shrub, or plant, up to the max coverage limit offered on your policy. It’s also super important to note that coverage only extends to the removal but not the replacement of damaged plant life. Be sure to check with your insurer to see what kind of coverage and deductible you have.

Structural damage from fallen trees

Most homeowners policies protect against falling objects. So if a tree falls on your home, your policy would likely help cover structural damages, including removing the fallen tree. When a tree falls in a storm but doesn’t cause any structural damage to your home, your insurer likely won’t cover the cost of removing it — unless it’s blocking a driveway or wheelchair ramp.

Dead or dying trees

If a dead or dying tree falls on your property and damages a structure, your insurer may not offer coverage. A diseased or rotting tree isn’t considered a sudden hazard. It’s considered a maintenance problem that the homeowner’s ultimately responsible for. That’s why it’s never a bad idea to have a trained arborist inspect your trees. They can see the telltale signs of disease or decay, even if everything looks normal on the outside. If damage or disease is detected, they can prescribe the best course of action.

Extended landscape coverage

Lawn care and landscaping is a time consuming and costly undertaking … and something you probably want to protect. If your lawn’s rife with plant life and foliage, ask your insurer if they offer what’s called a yard and garden endorsement. Basically it increases coverage for your trees, shrubs, plants, and even your lawn equipment. Again, it typically only helps cover the removal of damaged plants.

Wondering if you could save on your home insurance? Get a quick, free home insurance quote from Esurance. We’ll help you narrow down coverages fit for you and your wallet. That way you’re not paying for those you don’t even need. It’s just one more way we’re making insurance surprisingly painless. 

Insurance 101 | Homeowners 101


about Rebecca

Rebecca is a freelance copywriter and editor living in the SF Bay Area with her husband and two kids. She enjoys productively channeling her anxiety into safety-minded articles for home and garden, running with her robot trainer, and advocating on behalf of the Oxford comma.