Forest Fire or Wind Storm! Are My Trees Covered Under My Homeowners Policy?
By ROB SWAN, Contributing Writer, Qualifying Broker Swan Realty
This question has never been more relevant than this year. In the Spring of 2022 the US Forest Service started the largest Forest Fire recorded in New Mexico’s History. This fire destroyed 432 homes and burned 530 Square miles. The December windstorm in Red River completely destroyed two homes and thousands of trees.
Homeowners insurance obviously covers your home and belongings but what about the trees? Much of the value of your land could be due to the fact that it is covered in large beautiful trees and if they were to burn, the value of the land could be severely diminished. So are trees insurable?
I posed this question to Joseph Quintana with Farmers Insurance in Taos and the short answer is Yes and No. According to Quintana, if your trees are destroyed due to accidental fire, lightning, explosion, riot, aircraft or vehicle impact, vandalism or theft, then they are covered.
If you lose your trees due to wind or hail, they are not covered.
So how much is a tree worth? The loss will ultimately be determined by an adjuster, however, no individual tree can be valued over $750 and the total amount of loss cannot be greater than 5% of the value of the policy. So in other words, if your house is insured for $500,000 you could have a maximum claim of $25,000 for the loss of your trees.
Most policies have this coverage already built in, but if you are concerned, you should review your policy or give your agent a call. If you are in need of an agent or have additional insurance questions, you can always give Joseph Quintana a call at Farmers Insurance in Taos @ 575-758-4618
Real Estate questions? Feel free to contact me at any time. Rob Swan, Qualifying Broker, Swan Realty, Red River, NM 575-613-4243