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A tree fell on my house – What do I do?

Nov 7, 2017

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Strong winds, thunderstorms, ice storms and so many other forces of nature can cause a tree to fall. Hopefully, you will not have to deal with a fallen tree on your home, but it’s always best to know what to do beforehand just in case. If a tree were to fall on your home, here are some important questions to address.

Q: Does my Homeowners insurance cover tree removal and damage repairs to my home and other insured structures, such as fences?
A: Yes, your Homeowners insurance likely covers tree removal and damage repairs for your home and other insured structures. Once you pay your deductible, your Homeowners insurance will likely help with the cost of removing a tree that has fallen on your home and repairing the damage. However, if a tree falls due to neglect, you may not receive any coverage so it is prudent to take care of any trees on your property.

Q: If there’s no damage, is there any insurance coverage for removing the tree?
A: If a tree falls on your property without damaging any insured structures, you will likely be responsible for the costs of tree removal yourself.

Q: What happens if a fallen tree is in the street?
A: Check with your city/municipality to determine who is responsible for removing a tree that falls into the street. If your city takes responsibility, it may only be for the portion that is in the street. If so, any portion of the tree on your property will be your responsibility. However, if an insured structure was damaged in the incident, your insurance may help.

Q: If a tree falls from my neighbor’s property, who is responsible?
A: 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 from your neighbor’s insurance.

Q: What happens if a fallen tree damages my car?
A: If you have comprehensive coverage, your car insurance will help cover the costs of repairs. However, the cost to remove the tree from atop your car may not be covered.

Every insurance carrier handles fallen trees differently, depending on the specifics of your policy, your coverage limits and the specifics of your situation. If you need to file an insurance claim for a fallen tree, make sure to take photos, provide as many details as possible, and be prepared to pay your deductible.

*Information courtesy of Safeco Insurance