Last night on the news we saw some homeowners with trees down from stormy weather. There are some very tall evergreen trees in our neighborhood. What happens if a tree falls on our house or car? Will the damage be covered by insurance?
Let's start with the tree falling on your car. If you have comprehensive coverage on your car, your car insurance will pay for damage caused by falling or flying objects. In a windstorm, this could include a tree falling on your car or branches or other debris hitting your car. You would be responsible for your deductible. To find out if you have this coverage, check your bill or the declarations page of your policy. Each coverage you selected will show a premium next to it. If you're not sure, check with your agent or company.
Homeowners policies also cover damage caused by a windstorm. If a tree falls on your roof, for example, your homeowners policy will pay to remove the tree from the roof, repair the structure, and pay for property that is damaged by the tree falling or by wind or rain that comes in through the opening created by the tree. Your policy also covers reasonable additional living expenses if the damage is so extensive you can't live there while repairs are done.
Sometimes the tree that falls on your house or car belongs to a neighbor so we receive calls asking whether the neighbor is responsible for the damage to your property. There really isn't an easy answer to this question. Your homeowners policy or the comprehensive coverage on your car will cover the damage whether it's your tree or your neighbor's. Your insurance company will then investigate to determine whether there is any responsibility on the part of your neighbor. If you use your own car insurance or homeowners insurance, the insurance companies can work it out between them.