If a tree falls on my car, who's responsible?
You're responsible if a tree falls on your car from your yard. If you have comprehensive coverage, you'll only pay your auto deductible and insurance will cover the rest.
But who pays if a neighbor's tree falls on your car? Unless you can prove negligence from the neighbor, you may still be responsible for the repairs. Proving negligence can be difficult, but you may have a case if the tree was clearly dead or rotting, or if you previously asked your neighbor to remove the tree and received a recommendation of removal from a tree specialist. Keep in mind that if you have comprehensive coverage, your insurance will still cover your repair costs, minus your deductible.
If someone else causes a tree to fall on your car, such as a tree removal company, their insurance should cover any damage.
What happens if a tree falls on my car while I'm driving?
If your car is hit by a falling tree while you're driving, your comprehensive coverage should pay for the damage. However, if you hit a tree that has already fallen into the road, you may need collision coverage for the damage to be covered. The difference is that a tree falling on your car while driving is usually unavoidable, so comprehensive coverage would cover it. Colliding with a fallen tree is generally considered avoidable since it's your responsibility to be looking for obstacles on the road. Therefore, your insurer would likely classify it as a collision claim.
What happens if a tree falls on my car and my home's roof?
If a tree falls on both your car and your home's roof, you would file a claim with your auto insurance for your car (assuming you have comprehensive coverage) and another claim with your homeowners insurance for the roof damage. Some insurers may only require you to pay one of your deductibles in this scenario if you bundle home and auto insurance through them. Learn more about how homeowners insurance covers damage from falling trees.
What should I do if a tree falls on my car?
Take action as soon as the incident occurs. Snap photos of the damage from every angle, then get the ball rolling on your insurance claim. Ask your claims representative if there are any additional steps you can take to get your car repaired faster. You'll be responsible for paying the deductible amount on your policy, and your comprehensive coverage will pay for the rest.
If the tree fell due to the actions of a third party, such as a tree removal service, you should get their insurance information and provide it to your insurance company when you file your claim. Your insurer may pay out your claim while they seek reimbursement from the tree removal company's insurance.
Let's say a tree falls on your car and causes $3,000 in damage. If your deductible is $500, insurance will cover the remaining balance of $2,500.
How can I avoid tree damage to my car?
If you take some precautionary measures, you can lower the chance of a tree falling on your car. Consider these tips:
- Park in a garage or covered parking lot
- Avoid parking directly under a tree
- Arrange for removal of any dying trees on your property
- Cut branches/low-hanging tree limbs
- Ask your neighbor(s) to keep their trees trimmed down/not hanging over the fence if possible
- Contact your neighbor or the city if you notice an unstable tree on their property
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