Five important things to keep in mind about fallen trees and insurance:
Brought to You by Stonewall Insurance Agency
1. Your homeowners insurance likely covers tree removal and damage repairs for your
home and other insured structures, such as fences. That’s once you pay your deductible, of course. Examples of covered incidents can include strong winds knocking a tree over onto your roof or lightning striking a tree, causing it to fall on your fence.
However, if a tree falls due to neglect, you may not receive any coverage. So keep your
trees in good shape, and ask your neighbors to do the same.
2. If there’s no damage, there’s likely no insurance coverage. If a tree falls on your property without damaging any insured structures, you will likely need to cover the costs of tree removal yourself.
3. Your city or municipality may clean up trees that fall into the street, but you may still
have reason to file an insurance claim. Check with your city or municipality to determine who’s responsible for removing a tree that falls into the street. If your city takes responsibility, it may only be for the portion that’s in the street. Any of the felled tree that’s left on your property will be your
responsibility. Your insurance may help if an insured structure was damaged in the incident.
4. You may have coverage even if a tree falls from your neighbor’s property.
When a fallen tree damages your property, your homeowners insurance may pitch in no
matter who owned the tree. Depending on the circumstances, your insurance carrier may
attempt to recoup some of the costs, including your deductible, from your neighbor’s
insurance. This may occur, for example, if the neighbor was negligent in caring for the tree
before it fell.
5. Your car insurance may cover damage to your vehicle from a fallen tree.
If a tree falls from your property onto your car, it’s your car insurance and not your
homeowners insurance that will likely help cover the cost of repairs. But, the tree doesn’t
have to be from your property. You likely have coverage if a tree falls on your car, no
matter from where. What may not be covered? The cost to remove the tree from atop your
Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim for a Fallen Tree
Take photos: Photos taken from many angles and vantage points help to establish the
extent and cause of the damage. Be careful not to go near fallen trees that are entangled in
power lines, however. And don’t climb onto an unstable surface to get better photos.