Date Published: 2024/06/03

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Is your landscaping project covered by home insurance?

Photo of a couple planting new plants together as a part of a landscaping project in their backyard.

Upgrading the condition of your yard has many benefits: your curb appeal says a lot about your home, influences people's first impressions, and can improve your resale value. However, after investing potentially thousands of dollars in greenery and stonework, what happens if your yard is damaged by a fire, someone else's vehicle, vandalism, or theft? Luckily, your home insurance policy may be able to help.

What kind of landscaping is covered under a home insurance policy?

Nearly all insurance companies cover detached structures, including landscaping, as part of their standard home insurance policy. Some policies will cover you for 5% of your house's limit of coverage to repair or replace landscaping that's been damaged under certain circumstances. This means your trees, shrubs, and plants will be covered in the event of a fire, a vehicle driving over them, or theft. Suppose your tree falls during a storm; in most cases, home insurance policies will cover the cost of tree removal and replacement, house repairs, and additional living expenses while your home is being repaired. Still, certain scenarios such as damage caused by disease, drought, water, or the weight of ice and snow may not be covered.

What if someone stole my plants?

Regarding plant theft, your compensation depends on where the plants are located on your property. Plants in the ground are covered under any landscaping or detached structure clauses in your policy. But if someone stole your rare potted plant off your front porch, that would be covered under personal property insurance.

Can I increase my landscaping coverage?

Some people have different degrees of landscaping, so some insurance carriers will let you declare how much coverage you need. For example, if your property is a bare patch of land, you can opt-out to avoid paying a higher premium. However, if you put a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and money into your yard, you can choose to increase your coverage. For other insurance carriers, you’ll need to consider extending your coverage beyond the usual minimum percentage.

Do I have to let my insurance provider know that I'm landscaping?

As mentioned above, most insurance companies include some landscaping coverage regardless of what you've planted. So, you don't have to notify your insurance company if you suddenly develop a green thumb.

Ultimately, the choice comes down to whether you want more coverage depending on the value of your outdoor improvements. However, keep how much you're spending on your outdoor space in mind. If you plant expensive cherry or Japanese maple trees, the cost of replacing them may not be fully covered. If you do make changes to your landscaping and it's increased in value, be sure to check your policy. Ask yourself, "If I had to replace all my trees, shrubs, and plants today, does my insurance policy provide enough coverage to do it all at once?"

If you're a current Orbit policyholder and want to review your existing home insurance policy, contact an Orbit insurance broker. If you’re looking for a quote on home insurance to compare to your current policy, call an Orbit insurance broker today