Got a brown thumb? There's insurance for that

If you want to keep your plant-replacement expenditure to a minimum, research the type of care a plant needs before buying it.   

Myelle Lansat

By

Myelle Lansat

Myelle Lansat

Personal Finance Editor

Myelle Lansat is a personal finance editor at Policygenius. She writes and edits the Easy Money Newsletter.

Published September 23, 2021|3 min read

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The pandemic has spurred a plant-demic, with 71% of greenhouses across the country  reporting an increase in plant sales in 2020. Plants can be expensive to purchase. Having one die can be discouraging and replacing it can be costly.

Horti, a plant-subscription service, is offering short-term “plant insurance” to assist plant parents. The company's base plan, Plant Reassurance, provides in-house expert advice on saving a sick plant, regardless of where you purchased the plant, for $4.99 a month. Horti’s premium package is $9.99 and is only offered to existing customers. It offers the same guidance as the base plan and, if the advice doesn’t help, replaces your Horti-bought plants if it dies. 

“We do whatever we can do to empower our customers to feel a little bit more confident, and not scared of losing a plant. Whether that’s getting help or [replacing it] if it's too late,” says Puneet Sabharwal, CEO and co-founder of Horti. 

If you have Horti’s plant insurance and your plant falls and the pot breaks, Sabharwal says Horti will walk you through repotting the plant, but won’t reimburse you for the damage at this time. 

“If a plant broke or fell down, it's still survivable. If you send us a photo and you're like, ‘Hey, what do I do with this?’ We can guide you in terms of repotting and watering it correctly,” Sabharwal says. 

Does homeowners insurance cover plants?

If you have homeowners insurance policy there are some instances when you would be able to make a claim on a dead houseplant — but plant-parent negligence isn’t one of them. Plants that are damaged or die in your home because you forgot to water them won’t be covered, says Deante’ Peake, home insurance expert for Policygenius. 

Your indoor plants could be covered however, if they were destroyed or stolen in a covered loss or peril named in your policy. Peake says in this case, plants would fall under the personal property portion of your coverage, which can be up to 50% of your policy’s dwelling limit.  

Some outdoor plants could also be covered if they are damaged or lost because of an event listed in your policy, Peake says. For example, trees, shrubs, and other plants that are damaged from high winds could be covered by your policy. 

How to prepare for being a plant parent 

If you want to keep your plant-replacement expenditure to a minimum, research the type of care a plant needs before buying it.   

Will Creed, author of “Don't Repot That Plant!”, has 40 years of experience taking care of indoor plants and offers free plant advice through his site Horticultural Help. His top tips for being a good plant parent are:

  • Keep your new plant in its plastic nursery pot: Repotting a plant can end up removing soil, damage roots, and stress out a plant, Creed says. Transferring a plant to a pot that’s too big for it or adding too much soil can also hurt it. “It's okay to double pot it into something more attractive.”

  • Make sure it gets the appropriate amount of sunlight: Know how much light your plant needs and place it accordingly. Consider the direction your window faces and how far away your plant is from the window.  

If your plant is ailing, there are a few ways you can save it, depending on what is going on with it and when you catch it, Creed says. The best chance you have at saving a plant is spotting signs of sickness early.  

“An unhealthy plant will start getting yellow or brown leaves and soft stems,” Creed says. Seeing small bugs or a few leaves turning a different color could be enough to sound the alarm. If you wait and a majority of leaves are decaying, it could be too late, Creed says. After that? If you’re a Horti customer, file a plant insurance claim. If not, it's time for a trip to the greenhouse. 

Image: Brina Blum / Getty Images