Trees are beautiful and provide welcome shade to your yard but trees also typically require maintenance and fallen trees can pose a danger to your and your home’s safety. Whether it’s a spring storm or late year hurricane, strong winds can bring down trees and cause a great deal of damage. While poorly maintained trees are especially susceptible, even healthy trees can fall victim to powerful winds. If it happens to you, you’ll want to know if your insurance covers any losses and, if so, to what extent. The answer typically lies with the condition of the fallen trees prior to the storm and the extent of the damage done.
Standard homeowner’s insurance will generally pay toward losses if a tree falls and damages your home or any insured structures on your property such as a detached garage, shed or fence. Benefits will be up to your stated policy limits minus the applicable deductible amount.
Just as with other claims made on your policy, however, benefits will likely be denied in cases of negligence or failure to perform proper maintenance. For trees, this means trimming away dead branches and removing trees that have become diseased or are dying.
Your Neighbors and Fallen Trees
If a tree on your property falls and damages your neighbor’s property, it’s not your homeowner’s policy but theirs that should pay for losses. The same holds true if one of their trees falls and damages your insured property – your insurance should pay. Whichever insurance provider ends up paying the claim for either of these scenarios may try to recoup some of the losses from the other insurer, a process called subrogation.
Fallen Trees and Automobiles
If a tree falls and causes damage to your car or truck, even one parked inside your garage, it’s your vehicle insurance under which you’ll want to file your claim for losses caused to the vehicle. In this situation, the comprehensive portion of your car insurance policy will come into play. If you neglected getting comprehensive coverage, your claim will likely be denied.
If a tree falls and causes damage to your insured property, the cost of removing the remaining debris will also usually be covered by your homeowner’s policy. If, however, a tree falls on your property and no damage is caused to your property, the cost of debris removal will likely not be covered.