Severe weather claims have stopped some home insurance companies from even selling homeowners insurance in states such as Florida and California. In Minnesota, increased storm activity has caused more scrutiny of trees surrounding the house because of a huge increase in claims from trees falling on the house. Rates in Minnesota average 4% higher than the rest of the country.
Buyers are usually thrilled to find mature trees around a house they are considering buying. In fact, numerous studies show that homes with trees have anywhere from 3.5% to 15% more value than those without. Buyers are drawn to treed yards for both aesthetic and economical/environmental reasons. They can reduce the energy output of a home, improve air quality, reduce water runoff and trap carbon dioxide, which contributes to climate change.
We are so used to thinking that trees add value, that the buyer of the house above was shocked when their homeowners insurance agent told them they couldn’t insure their soon-to-be new home because of the trees!
I contacted an insurance broker I work with to ask about it… and learned this has become a common requirement after something like an 80% (?) increase in claims because of fallen trees.
In this case, they found an insurance company that will insure it if all tree branches hanging over the roof are removed… estimate just came in at $2,400 and seller is cooperating to have them removed.
If you are planning to sell your house, include overhanging tree branches on your list of fixups… it could make the difference of whether or not your home is insurable!
Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results – email@example.com