You would never have guessed that the sturdy oak tree in your back yard where you gather for family picnics would lose several of its branches after a heavy storm. But it did and now you are wondering whether your homeowners insurance will help pay for the cost of removing the fallen branches or repairing the damage to your home. That depends on several factors such as what caused the tree to fall and the type of damage that resulted.
Homeowners insurance typically covers the cost of removing a tree that falls on an insured structure. This might be your roof, a fence, or a shed. The cause of the damage is very important. If the tree was healthy and the damage was caused due to wind, your typical homeowners insurance helps pay to repair damage to your home or other structure. But let’s say the tree was rotten, had not been maintained and was ready to fall down before the storm due to negligence. In that case, your insurance would most likely NOT cover the damage.
There is generally a cap of ten percent on coverage for structures other than your home, such as a detached garage or shed, and you would be responsible for any deductible. Also, your homeowners insurance may not cover the removal costs of every fallen tree. If a tree falls on your property without damaging any insured structures, you will likely need to cover the costs of tree removal yourself.
If a fallen tree doesn’t damage your home or other structures but it blocks a driveway or ramp for the disabled, insurance may pay to have it removed. Check with your city to determine who’s responsible for removing a tree that falls into the street. If the city takes responsibility, it may only be for the portion that actually fell in the street. Any of the tree that is remaining on your property will be your responsibility. Your insurance may help if an insured structure was damaged in the incident.
Your homeowners insurance typically will not cover damage if a tree falls on your car. However, you may be able to file an auto insurance claim if you have comprehensive coverage on your car insurance policy. Comprehensive coverage typically helps pay to repair damage to your car caused by falling objects.
If you find yourself in this situation, take photos to establish the extent and cause of the damage. However, stay clear of fallen trees that are entangled in power lines. Record as many details as possible. If your neighbor’s tree was in bad shape due to neglect and fell damaging your property, be sure to tell your insurance. If a storm caused the tree to fall, provide details about the severity of the weather.
If you live in the north Texas area, such as Denton and the surrounding areas of Krum, Sanger, Pilot Point, and Aubrey, you have experienced our severe weather, including high winds. Check with your local agent to make sure your home and auto policies will provide the coverage you need.