Just because a tree fell down on your property does not mean that your insurance will cover the cost of removing it. Your homeowner's insurance will only kick in when a tree falls down and a particular scenario ensures. Here are five scenarios you may encounter with a falling tree and how each of these scenarios will most likely play out with your homeowner's insurance.
#1 The Tree Falls In The Street
If a tree falls from your property into your street, your homeowner's insurance may cover the cost of removal since your tree is causing damage to a public roadway, which could result in a liability claim if your insurance does not assist with removing the tree.
However, if a tree on your property falls into the road, you should first check with your local public works department to see if they will remove it. The rules around tree removal vary from city to city in each state, but often the public works department will pay for the removal since the tree is blocking public access. If this is the case, you will save yourself from having to pay a deductible, file a claim and see your homeowner's insurance rise.
#2 The Tree Falls Onto Your Neighbor's Property & Causes Damages
If a tree falls from your property and causes damage to your neighbor's house, shed, garage, fence, vehicle or person, your neighbor should file a claim with their homeowner's insurance. Their policy should cover the cost of repairs and removing the tree from their property.
However, if you knew the tree was dying, and you have expressed this knowledge to your neighbor or your neighbor had specifically asked you to remove the tree, you could be held liable for the damages. In that case, the liability portion of your homeowner's insurance would kick in and cover the costs.
#3 The Tree Damages Your Home
If the tree falls and damages your house, garage, fence or detached shed or physical structure, then any repairs as well as the cost to remove the tree should be covered. You may have to pay a deductible, but your insurance should cover the rest.
#4 The Tree Damages Your Vehicle
If a tree on your property falls and damages your vehicle, you should make an auto insurance claim instead of a homeowner's claim. Comprehensive insurance is designed to handle claims like this.
#5 The Tree Damages Nothing
If a tree falls on your property and doesn't damage any structures or vehicles or block any public roads, then you should not file a homeowner's claim. Your insurance company is likely to deny it. You are responsible for taking care of the tree.
For additional information, contact an insurance company in your area.