If a tree fell on your home or car would you know what to do? Would your insurance cover it?
As hurricane season gives way to winter storm season, drivers and homeowners should consider ways to protect themselves from storm damages. Wind, ice and heavy snow can lead to felled trees and branches, even in healthy trees. Downed trees can cause significant damage and injury to your home and car, and can be costly to repair.
Make certain your home and car are protected with these tips:
Prevent Downed Trees
You can’t control the weather, or the state of trees beyond your property, but you can take care to ensure that the trees that are within your property bounds are healthy and strong. Have a professional assess the trees on your lot and have problem trees removed or reinforced to avoid fallen branches or trees.
If you fail to take care of the trees on your property and ignore issues some of your trees may have, your negligence could cause your insurance claims filed for damage from those trees to be denied by your insurance provider. If you know you have a problem, get it fixed before storm season picks up.
Fallen trees from your neighbor’s property that cause damage to your home or car are your insurance problem, not your neighbors. Unless you can prove their negligence, you will have to file a claim to your insurance. Though you probably don’t want to be a pesky neighbor, if you notice that your neighbor’s trees are looking ill, you may want to say something and document the exchange in case something happens.
Protect Your Home and Car
Your homeowners insurance and auto insurance can help protect you from the costs of damages to your home and car from fallen trees. In some cases your homeowners could help pay for the removal of risky trees, though this is typically only in unique circumstances.
If a tree falls on your car, your comprehensive coverage would be the aspect of your policy to cover damage and repairs. Speak with your agent to ensure you have enough comprehensive coverage during this stormy time of year.
Your homeowners coverage will likely help pay for damages to the insured structure, and the removal of the tree from the structure. If a tree falls on your lawn and doesn’t damage any insured property, your homeowners insurance would likely not cover the removal of the downed tree. Every situation is different, so be sure to speak with your agent to determine what’s covered under your homeowners policy.
Damage from Downed Trees
If a felled tree causes damage to your property, act quickly. Take photos of the damage and note any possible causes, like sickly trees in a neighbor’s yard or stormy conditions at the time. Consider your deductible when surveying the damage, if repairs would be less costly then it may not be worth filing a claim. Once you decide a claim should be filed, contact your insurance agent right away to get the process started.