If a tree falls down, then the first question you’ll ask yourself is who is going to take care of removing it, clean up and pay for any potential repairs. Well, in this case, the truth is that this depends on quite a few factors.
First of all, it’s important that you check your homeowners’ insurance policy. However, if the tree does no damage, then removing it is not something that your policy is going to pay for. If you do want to qualify for a claim though, the fallen tree needs to have caused damage to any of the structures included in your home insurance documents.
The good news is that there are indeed some insurance policies that will take care of removing the tree if it falls and blocks your driveway. The policy may also kick in if you’re disabled and the ramp you use to access your property is blocked by the tree. In such cases, the home insurance policy will cover up to one thousand dollars for removing the tree following a storm.
This means that if 2 trees fell during a storm, you’ll get five hundred dollars for each of them. Keep in mind though that the one thousand dollar limit usually applies regardless of how many trees fell for any 1 loss, but just to be sure, you should carefully read your policy.
Home insurance for downed trees
Below we’ll tell you more about falling tree scenarios and what isn’t and is likely to be covered by your home insurance policy:
- A tree falls on your home and damages your tool-shed, detached garage, and of course, the roof of your property. The costs of repairing the damage to the detached structures and your home, including the removal of the tree should be covered by the policy.
- During a storm, a tree blows over and falls on your car which is parked in the driveway. In this case, the damage is usually covered by your car insurance policy (more specifically, comprehensive insurance). As a result, this will pay for the damage to your car from a wide range of causes, including natural disasters.
- Your neighbor’s car, shed, or house, is damaged by a tree on your property falling down. In this case, the neighbor can file a claim under her or his car or home insurance policy. On the other hand, if the tree was old and ready to fall anytime and you were warned about it by your neighbor then you’ll be liable for the damages. In the event, your house is damaged after your neighbor’s tree falls on it, you can easily make a claim and have your insurance pay for the damages. It may also be possible that the insurer will deem your neighbor responsible for the damages because his negligence is the sole factor that made this happen in the first place. As a result, the money to pay for the damages will be recovered from his insurance company.
- A tree you have on your yard falls into the street. Based on where you live, the tree will either be removed by you or the town itself.
Work with your home insurance company
No matter what you do, it’s never a good idea to make assumptions about the coverage your insurer offers you. You need to work closely with insurance adjusters so that liabilities are properly assessed. After all, deductibles range a lot depending on the type of policy you have and what you choose for your coverage.
Document losses for insurance claims
If possible, videos and photos should be used to document your tree damage. If you have any info about the condition and history of the tree, make sure to provide it to your carrier. This way, they’ll be able to properly use the coverage and provisions in your policy.
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