Thinking about updating your landscape this spring? Be sure to ask yourself these questions before you start. They can help you save money and make sure you are properly covered for damages related to your yard.

Does a standard homeowners’ policy cover damage to my landscaping?

Most policies cover trees, plants and shrubs but they are usually covered at a reduced rate and it all depends on the circumstances. For example, if there was fire/lightning, riot or civil commotion, aircraft, vehicles not owned or operated by a resident of the “residences premises,” vandalism or theft. Prepared will pay up to 5% of the limit of liability that applies to the Coverage A-Dwelling for all trees, shrubs, plants or lawns. Prepared pays no more than $500 of the limit on any one tree, shrub or plant.

What are some problems for planting a tree to close to my home?

There are 3 main problems with planting a tree to close to your home.

  1. Mechanical damage – roots get near a foundation or utility line, & exert pressure against it. Hence the raised and broken sidewalks we see near some species of tree, such as Norway maples.
  2. Trees make the soil moisture actuate due to taking water up. This can cause problems when soils expand & contract which can stress your foundation by pressure.
  3. A branch could fall on a house, or the tree could topple.

How can I landscape my yard to keep it from flooding my home?

Leave a gap between your mulch and siding – When mulching your landscape, keep the materials away from the siding and leave a 6-inch gap.

Direct downspouts away from the house – Extend downspouts away from the house to keep the water farther away from the house.

Install a rain garden – Place the plants with the highest wet-soil tolerance in the center. Those at the edge will drain quickly while the middle remains submerged.

Quick Flood Facts:

  • In the past 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods.
  • Everyone lives in a flood zone.  (For more information, visit our Flood Zones FAQs.)
  • Homeowners’ insurance does not cover flood damage.
  • If you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) or high-risk area and have a Federally backed mortgage, your mortgage lender requires you to have flood insurance.
  • Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
  • Hurricanes, winter storms and snowmelt are common (but often overlooked) causes of flooding.

Be Protected. Get Prepared.