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Garden and Tree Insurance: Do you need It?

Summer storms can be a very powerful force to experience, and the wind, rain, hail and lightning have the potential to be very destructive. Your home insurance policy can help you cover the costs of repairing any unexpected damages to your house if you have the proper coverage, but damage to things surrounding your home, such as gardens and trees can be a different matter.

Here’s some things to consider when looking to protect the investment in your outside oasis.

Does your home insurance cover your trees and gardens?

If you are a gardener with ornamental trees, shrubs or prize-winning roses, this is an important question to ask your broker, because insurance coverage varies from one insurance provider to another. Certain coverage might include plants, shrubs, and trees as part of your property and weather-related damage is covered under your home insurance policy. Alternatively, you can purchase “add-on” coverage that’s specific to your garden and trees. To best meet your needs, discuss options with your broker and keep the following considerations in mind:

What will the cost of the deductible be if you have to claim damage to your garden and trees?

  • It is best to assess the potential damage and weigh this against the costs of replacing the plants yourself or paying the deductible and pursuing a claim. Be sure to keep receipts and document with pictures in the event a claim needs to be made. Unfortunately, this may not be realistic in older communities where the trees have been there since the houses were built.

Will the policy cover the market value or replacement value of your garden and trees?

  • Depending on the age of the tree, it’s helpful to know how your insurance provider will calculate the replacement value of a mature tree. A claims adjuster would work with an arborist to assess the size, species (or classification), condition, and location of the tree. These factors would help the arborist to determine a value for the tree, which would then be used by the insurance company to pay cash value for the tree or replacement. It’s important to note, you likely won’t be compensated for the time and effort you put into helping your gardens reach their full potential.

Protecting your trees

A mature tree that is close to your home poses multiple hazards if struck by lightning or high winds. The tree could break and fall on your roof, catch on fire, and / or transfer the lightning’s charge from the tree to your house.

The good news is that your home insurance policy is designed to provide compensation for damages caused by trees that impact your home, but maybe not the tree itself. However, there are tree protection systems available. A professionally installed system is designed to transfer the charge of the lightning to the ground thereby minimizing the effects to the tree. However, it is important to note that tree protection systems do not guarantee safety and there are still risks to a nearby person or object.

Protecting your gardens

If you have a greenhouse, it’s important to mention it to your insurance broker to ensure that your insurance policy provides adequate coverage. If you’ve got a knack with tools, you could build a raised cover that shelters the plants from above. The challenge is devising something that protects your plants from inclement weather but can be removed when the weather returns to normal. Be sure to use materials that won’t buckle under the pressure of strong winds. A quick search online can provide examples of solutions.

Ultimately, a little forethought can go a long way to preserving your garden and allow you to enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of your labour.

 

Source: Brokerlink

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