Trees are great. They’re pretty. They’re a home for birds and other wildlife. They create oxygen and are an essential part of, well, life. But the thing is that trees don’t always stay upright like they’re supposed to. Sometimes they come crashing down, and they don’t always show the consideration of avoiding homes and cars.
So, what happens with your Alabama home insurance if a tree falls on your house? What if one of your trees falls on your neighbor’s house? Your car? Fence? Trees don’t really care what’s in their path when they fall, so we’ll answer a number of tree-related home insurance questions so you can be prepared.
Does home insurance cover a tree falling on your house?
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Storms happen in Alabama. It’s a fact of life.
Home insurance is intended to protect you from “sudden and accidental” damage. A falling tree should qualify so long as it toppled over due to a covered loss. So, you should be covered and able to fix any holes the tree punched in your house.
Now, we highly encourage you to read your policy carefully so you understand what scenarios are and are not covered.
What happens if my tree falls on my neighbor’s house?
So, picture this:
There’s heavy wind one day with some really strong gusts. Next thing you know, your neighbor is pounding at your door and motioning angrily at their house. You poke your head outside and immediately see what they’re so upset about. There’s a tree across their roof, which looks a bit smooshed. You wander outside and eye where the tree’s trunk was. Is that one of your trees? Yep. Of course it is.
In short – your tree fell on your neighbor’s house.
Now the question is…will home insurance cover the damage?
Yes and no.
Your home insurance will not cover the damage to your neighbor’s house. But your neighbor’s insurance should. The most likely not-too-happy neighbor will have to go through their insurance company and file a claim. Their home, their insurance. They might fuss because it wasn’t their tree and now they have to pay their deductible, but that’s how it is.
What happens if my neighbor’s tree falls on my house?
On the other hand, if your neighbor’s tree falls on your house, you’re the one who will have to file a claim (and pay your deductible.) Your house, your insurance. Yes, it’s unfortunate that you’re out your deductible, but at least the damage is covered.
Why it’s important to keep tabs on the health of your trees
Here’s a scenario:
You’ve got a dead or diseased tree in your yard. You know it’s dangerous because it could fall, but you’re procrastinating the expense of having it removed. Your neighbor isn’t happy about the tree, though…and it turns out, with good reason. It falls on their house.
This is significant because if they can prove that you knew the tree was a risk and didn’t do anything, their insurance company can come after you (or your insurance company) to reimburse your neighbor for their deductible.
Moral of the story: Have your trees checked about once a year by a trustworthy professional to ensure that they are healthy and strong. If you have any hollowed or dead trees, have them removed safely ASAP.
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What happens if a tree falls on my car?
Long story short, a tree falls on your car and turns it into a pancake. Will home insurance cover it?
No, it won’t. But your auto insurance could if you’ve purchased comprehensive coverage. If you don’t have comprehensive coverage, no dice – liability insurance won’t cover hostile trees. Comprehensive coverage covers your car if it’s damaged by something other than an accident, such as fire, theft, vandalism, and falling trees. You would have to pay your deductible, probably.
What if a tree falls through my fence?
Fence vs. tree…it’s not exactly a toss-up. Tree wins.
So, if a tree falls and takes out a section of your fence, you should be covered. Your home insurance most likely has a section of “other structures” coverage that includes structures such as sheds, detached garages, driveways, and fences (basically things that aren’t physically attached to your house.)
And that’s the deal with your Alabama home insurance and falling trees. Your home insurance could cover you if a tree falls. Now, your neighbor might not be thrilled if your tree decides to fall and their roof gets in the way, but that’s the way insurance works. Your auto insurance protects your car if you have comprehensive coverage and your other structures coverage will take care of your fence. So take that, trees.
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