Timber! Who Pays if a Tree Falls in my Yard?

Advisors Insurance AgencyAll Blogs, General Insurance Tips, Holiday and Seasonal, Home Insurance, Risk Protection

car-damage-1If a tree from your neighbor’s yard falls on your car at 3 am in the morning does it make a sound?

Well, I am sure it does, and whether you hear it, or your friend Ted walking the dog hears it, and sees this catastrophe occur, it is good to know if your auto and home insurance will cover the expenses caused to your property.

What happens if my neighbor’s tree falls on my property?

The first thing to assess is if there is any damage to your property.  If a tree falls and does not cause any damage to your property, then your insurance carrier will more than likely not be covering the cost to remove the tree from your property. You will probably end up opening your purse and wallet for the removal and telling yourself that you might as well have left your 15 year old Kia Sportage in harm’s way.

How to avoid a falling tree or at least its cost

Well, we all know we can’t avoid a tree from falling.  If a tree is going to fall, it’s going to fall.  Timber! If there is damage to your home and insured structures, your carrier will more than likely assist with paying for the damages and removal. If the tree falls due to lightning, wind, hail, or catastrophic event, then more than likely, your insurance will also help cover the expense.

Good fences may make good neighbors, but you also need to be aware of the trees on your property as well as your neighbor’s. If you see a tree that appears to be a potential hazard, communicate this with your neighbor because your insurance carrier may penalize you for “neglect” (of tree maintenance) and deny any claims to coverage.

So what do I do after a neighbor’s tree falls on my yard?

  1. Understand which policy you will be filing the claim under. If a tree falls on your car, then your auto claims department would handle this best. If the tree falls on your home, or other structures on your property besides your vehicle, then the home insurance claims department would handle this claim best.
  2. Take photos of damages, but remember to be careful as fallen trees can expose many hazardous conditions.
  3. Provide details.  The more details you share about the events that occurred, the better your insurance carrier can assist. If the tree fell from a covered loss, make sure you communicate that a hail or windstorm blew the tree down. If your neighbor had a tree that had been swaying fell with the touch of a finger, make sure you communicate this to your claims department, as this would be grounds for neglect.
  4. Always be prepared to pay the deductible.
  5. Consult with your agent, as they can assess your policy and walk your through the appropriate steps to take when the trees start falling! You can call (844-272-0525).

 

Until next time.