Will Your Insurance Pay for Damage Caused by a Fallen Tree?

Recently, strong winds wreaked havoc in many states and left a lot of property damaged. In many cases, it was the falling trees that were responsible for most of the damage. Falling trees wrecked cars, power lines and even entire homes. Naturally, most homeowners ran to their insurance agencies. But does your insurance cover such cases? That depends on a number of variables.

Most insurance policies include clauses for damage by a number of causes including theft, fire etc, and usually damage caused by trees during a storm is also covered. However, you should carefully look at your policy to check for that. There could be restrictions like high deductibles, especially in case of named hurricanes.

Further, there could be strict limits on the amount that you will get, regardless of the extent of damage to your home. If a tree falls on an insured structure on the property, homeowners’ insurance covers the damage costs for both the structure and the things that were inside your home. But for a detached structure, like a garage, a much smaller cap is applied, which means you will only get a small percentage of the amount that you would have lost.

In cases where the tree does not actually damage your home or other structures, a claim for tree removal charges can still be made if ramps or driveways are blocked. In case of no damage and no serious blockage, however, no insurance can be claimed. The only exception to this rule is when your policy explicitly includes a clause for tree removal.

The exact location of the tree also affects the situation to some extent. Damage will be covered regardless of whether it was your tree that caused it or your neighbor’s. But it might make some difference in how much you would be paid by the insurance company. If the tree was on your property, you will have to pay the deductible. If it was growing on your neighbor’s property, you may get a refund for the deductible amount. This difference arises because in the latter case, your insurance company would ask your neighbor’s insurer to foot the bill.

Damage to your vehicle is not covered under homeowners’ insurance. You would need a separate automobile insurance policy to claim that amount.

You should read your policy carefully, and if you have any doubts whatsoever, don’t hesitate to reach out to the insurer to check which situations are covered and which are not.

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