Will my home insurance cover tree removal and damage to a private road leading to my house?
UPDATED: Oct 14, 2013
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Asked October 14, 2013
Insurance companies write policies differently, and each state controls the regulations for insurance companies in that state. This means that, regardless of the typical scenarios, whether or not your case is covered will depend on the wording of your policy. If you do not understand the wording of your policy, contact the company you bought the policy from and ask for clarification.
Wind damage to structures is covered under all policies, for instance, but whether your private road is qualified as a structure will depend on other factors. If the private road is developed, then it may be covered as a structure on the property. This would pay to repair a crack in the concrete or a hole gouged into asphalt. The problems you may have are that you will have to pay a deductible, and most policies have relatively low limits for the other structures other than the dwelling.
Whether or not the tree removal is covered will also depend on specifics. If the trees are blocking the only access to the dwelling, your policy will probably pay for their removal, but if they are not a significant barrier, the policy may only cover removal of limbs to clear the access route. In either case, a very small allotment is usually given to tree removal, so you may still have to pay a large portion of the bill.
Look at the cost of removal and repairs and compare it to the deductible. If the difference is only a small amount, relative to your available cash flow, then it is usually preferable to pay for the repairs out of pocket. The reason for this is that there is a national database of your insurance claims, and too many claims or claims of high value counts against you financially. Controlling the number and value of your claims can save you a lot of money over time.
Answered October 14, 2013 by Anonymous