5 Things to Know About Fallen Trees and Insurance Coverage
Spring time is in full bloom. This also means so are thunderstorms. Now is the ideal time to review your homeowners insurance, and even your car insurance to understand what may or may not be covered from fallen tree damage caused by storms.
Here are five important things to keep in mind:
1. Your homeowners insurance likely covers tree removal (for fallen trees) and damage repairs for your home and other insured structures, such as fences. Examples of covered incidents can include strong winds knocking a tree over onto your roof or lightning striking a tree, causing it to fall on your fence. However if a tree fall due to neglect, you may not receive any coverage.
2. If there's no damage, there's likely no insurance coverage. For example, if a tree falls on your property without damaging any insured structures, you will likely need to cover the costs of tree removal yourself.
3. Your city or municipality may clean up trees that fall into the street, but you may still have reason to file an insurance claim. Check with your city or municipality to determine who's responsible for removing a tree that falls into the street. If you city takes responsibility, it may only be for the portion that's in the street. Any of the felled tree that's left on your property will be your responsibility. Your insurance may help if an insured structure was damaged in the incident.
4. You may have coverage even if a tree falls from your neighbor's property. When a fallen tree damages your property, your homeowners insurance may pay no matter who owned the tree. Depending on the circumstances, your insurance carrier may attempt to recoup some of the costs, including your deductible, from your neighbor's insurance. This may occur, for example, if the neighbor was negligent in caring for the tree in the first place.
5. Your car insurance may cover damage to your vehicle from a fallen tree. If a tree falls from your property onto your car, it's your car insurance and not your homeowners insurance that will likely help cover the cost of repairs. But, the tree doesn't have to be from your property. You likely have coverage if a tree falls on your car, no matter from where. What may not be covered? The cost to remove the tree from atop your car.
Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim for a Fallen Tree
- Take Photos
- Provide as many details as possible
- Be prepared to pay your deductible