Property owners select coverage with various perils in mind, including fire, flood, and theft–just to name a few. These incidents are common, and filing a claim is usually straightforward (although it may be frustrating). Tree damage is another common type of peril that your policy may cover. Tree damage can occur any time of year and can damage your home, car, or other property, so it’s important to know what your policy covers. Here are the answers to common fallen tree insurance claims questions that you may not have thought to ask.
Examples of Tree Claim Coverage
- Standard insurance policies cover homes and other insured structures, such as detached garages and the property’s interior contents.
- The insured is typically covered if a tree falls on their home – no matter who owns the tree.
- If a felled tree on neighboring property damages another home, some insurance companies may try to collect from that neighbor’s insurer. If the neighboring insurer agrees to payout on the claim, the deductible is reimbursed for the home damage.
Common Causes of Tree Damage
- Hurricanes can turn trees, bushes, and shrubs into projectiles that damage homes, detached structures, and other property types.
- Lightning can strike a tree or trees, causing them to fall and damage a home or other structures.
- Heavy snow, sleet, and ice often affects trees and wreaks havoc on homes and property.
- High winds, hurricane force or otherwise, can potentially cause trees to fall or hit property (property owners in hurricane-prone areas may need to purchase additional windstorm coverage).
- Damage that results from trees that are not well-maintained (i.e. trees that have rotting roots or are otherwise unhealthy) may not be covered by a standard insurance policy.
- Tree-related damage commonly excluded from insurance coverage includes floods and earthquakes.
- Trees falling and hitting power lines on an insured’s property are often the property owner’s responsibility.
- The car insurer covers tree damage that occurs to a vehicle. The property owner’s home insurance covers a vehicle damaged by a neighbor’s fallen tree.
A fallen tree damaging your home can be moderate or make your home uninhabitable, increasing your expenses and causing questions regarding coverage. The claims process can become complicated, whether the cause is wind, snow, or lightning. Report any tree damage to your insurer as quickly as possible to file a claim. If the insurance company denies or partially pays on a claim, a property insurance attorney can help. Our team can guide you in fallen tree claims and other property insurance disputes. Contact us to learn more.