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In the homeowners insurance industry, debris removal coverage depends on not only the type of debris but the placement of the damage, such as a fallen tree on your neighbor's home. Typically, your debris removal claim can be only 25 percent of the overall debris loss.

Estimating Your Coverage
If your yard is filled with debris after a storm, your homeowners insurance claim will pay for the cleanup costs, but only 25 percent of your total claim can be applied toward the actual removal of the debris. For example, if your total debris claim was $20,000, your maximum allowance for removal expenses would be $5,000.  This amount may not be enough if the value of the property is low or if you live in a remote area, which can make access difficult and costly.

Removal Exclusions
If you have a felled tree on your property, your homeowners insurance company may only pay for removal if the tree struck your property on the way down, such as a shed, fence, your home, or a neighbor's home. Trees that fall without any property damage may not qualify for removal, so it's a good idea to check your policy's debris removal section, which varies by insurer.

Additional Coverage
Most homeowners insurance policies will provide an extra $10,000 or more in debris removal coverage for a higher premium. Known as an "additional coverage" debris removal rider, this type of coverage is usually only needed if you suspect high damage levels on your home property.

Like a Good Neighbor...
If a neighbor's tree falls and damages any of your structural property, most insurance carriers recommend that you file a homeowners insurance claim for the debris removal, even though you did not own the tree. However, if the neighbor's tree did not do any property damage you will have to pay for the removal costs yourself.

Vehicle Damage
Debris removal is not covered by your homeowners insurance policy if a tree falls on your vehicle, as automobiles are not home property. However, if you have a comprehensive auto insurance policy, you can file a claim for the damage, but the removal is still your responsibility.

For more information regarding your Homeowners Insurance call 540.657.5633.

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