Home Insurance: Do I need to remove trees near my house?


You might look at that unwieldy tree hanging over your roof and think, “Good thing I have home insurance!” But will your insurance policy cover damages caused by an unmaintained tree on your property? This is a very important question that you should ask your insurance provider. However, we can offer you this general advice: Probably not. It is unlikely that your insurer will pay out a claim to cover the cost of damage created by a hazardous tree on your property. Since they consider it reasonable for you to take care of any such hazards to yourself. The vast majority of insurance policies contain a clause like this: “The home owner is required, at their own expense, to perform any necessary maintenance work to prevent damage to their home.” This statement, or similar, is intentionally broad enough to cover any number of reasons for refusing to pay out an insurance claim. And it most certainly does cover that big dangerous tree you are wondering about. Many people take the risk of not maintaining the trees on their property because of the cost involved. However, the cost of tree maintenance or removal is minimal compared to the cost of damage to your property, or the injury or death of family members resulting from falling trees or branches. And it isn’t just your property that you have to worry about! If a hazardous tree on your land damages your neighbour’s house, then you are still liable, without the protection (or not) of your insurance policy! Throughout Sydney, hazardous trees can be removed with minimal paperwork and tree pruning and maintenance is very affordable. Many Sydney councils allow the removal of a tree within a certain distance [...]