Are You Insured from Damage Caused by Fallen Trees?
Trees can cause serious damage to properties, but what do you do when that occurs? After a storm, trees, branches, and other debris can be hurtled through the air at high speeds, making for very dangerous projectiles. Whether it be from a tornado, windstorm, or other nasty commotion, trees can pose a significant threat to surrounding areas.
Typically, if a fallen tree damages your property such as a car or home, your insurance policy will likely cover the damage.
Damage to Your Home
If a tree falls on your house, you can file a claim with your homeowners insurance company. During a storm, branches and bits can travel significant distances. It can be difficult to determine where the branches came from as it takes time and money from the insurance company. Therefore, the insurance company will likely not attempt to determine where the branches originally came from. However, if the fallen tree is clearly from a neighboring property, your insurance company will likely reach out to your neighbors. This process is call subrogation and if your insurance is successful in collecting from the neighbor’s insurance company, you may be reimbursed on your deductible.
Damage to Your Vehicle
Tree debris that caused damage to your car is not covered under your homeowners insurance, but rather under your car insurance. However, if you only have minimum car coverage, your insurance may not cover it. This fact is due to the idea that fallen trees are considered an “act of God.”
On the other hand, if you have comprehensive insurance before the damage occurs, your provider is more likely to cover the damage.
Damage to Trees
Significant trees can add value to a property and can take lots of money and time to replace. Typically, homeowners insurance covers damage to trees and shrubs due to disasters or an accident. Examples of covered damage include fire, lightning, explosion, theft, aircraft, vehicles not owned by the resident, and vandalism. Coverage for disasters like these are typically capped at 5% of the insurance on the home.
If you have stately trees, you may want to determine how much homeowners insurance is right for you.
If a tree has fallen but not caused any damage to a structure, you will likely have to remove the tree on your own dime. However, if a tree has fallen due to a problem covered by your insurance, such as a windstorm, your policy might pay for a portion of the removal if it blocks things like a driveway or handicapped ramp.
How to Prevent a Tree Causing Damage
Poorly maintained trees may not be covered under homeowners insurance. Therefore, to prevent damage from occurring, it is essential to maintain your tree’s health. You should properly prepare your trees for storms and partake in regular tree maintenance. Additionally, you should remove trees that are rotten or unstable.
How to Report Damage
Your insurance provider probably has protocol that you should follow when reporting damage. However, a good rule of thumb is to take lots of photos and document as much as possible. Additionally, you can inquire with your provider to see if there is anything else that you can do to ensure that the claims process is carried out smoothly.
All in all, the best things you can do is to keep your trees properly maintained to prevent damage to your property and your neighbors’ property.
If you are concerned about what your insurance will cover or are looking for further coverage, reach out to us at Hosto Financial. We are dedicated to our clients and have years of expertise on our side.
Delbridge, E. (2021, October 19). Insurance Claims When a Tree Falls on Your Car. Retrieved from The Balance: https://www.thebalance.com/a-tree-fell-on-my-car-527079
Insurance Information Institute. (n.d.). If a tree falls on your house, are you covered? Retrieved from Insurance Information Institute: https://www.iii.org/article/if-a-tree-falls-on-your-house-are-you-covered
Jason Metz, L. M. (2022, February 15). Insurance For Storms And Fallen Trees. Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/advisor/homeowners-insurance/storm-damage-insurance-claims/