Is debris removal covered by a homeowners insurance policy?

Q:

I live in an area that sometimes gets really damaging storms. If my property has debris on it after a weather event, will the removal of it be covered by my homeowners insurance policy?

A:

Yes, debris removal is typically automatically covered under a homeowner insurance policy (learn more about your coverage in Breaking Down Your Homeowner's Insurance Policy, from Coverage A to E). This covers the removal of debris from the insured's own property or from other things blown onto the insured's property. However, the extent to which debris removal is covered depends on the type of policy purchased.

Under the most basic Fire Policy, debris removal is covered if it results from an insured peril or windstorm. However, an important exclusion is that it does not recover the cost of testing for and cleaning of pollutants. As a general rule, anything to do with pollutants is not covered by your typical insurance policy as losses may be disproportionately large.

The amount of debris removal coverage is typically only up to 25% of the total value of the loss minus any deductible that may apply.

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About the Author: (Director of Education at PNC Learning)

Jacques grew up around the insurance industry and began actively participating in 2013. Since then, he has gotten a Level 2 license, won Insurance Council of BC awards in 2015 and 2020 for academic excellence in the insurance licensing courses. He educates insurance professionals through PNC Learning and as a Thought Leader at ReFrame Insurance.

In his day job as an insurance broker, he helps businesses with creative risk management solutions and strategic advice when it comes to insurance.

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