The spring and summer months typically correlate with severe thunderstorms, but during any time of the year, severe weather conditions can pop up. With fall approaching, wet weather can be expected and with winter, you can also expect ice, and snow that may result in fallen trees on your property. As a result, you need to be familiar with your N.C. homeowners AND auto insurance policy, provisions, and conditions as to how it pertains to fallen trees and insurance coverage on your property.
Key Considerations Pertaining to Fallen Trees
First of all, you may have a preconceived notion of what your homeowners insurance covers if a tree falls on your property; however, you may not have the full story. Below are some key scenarios pertaining to fallen trees and homes/cars along with instances where your insurance coverage may or may not suffice, based on the language cited in your homeowners (or auto) policy provisions, conditions, and exclusions.
- A tree falls on your home due to severe weather, resulting in damages to your home and fence. A typical N.C. homeowners insurance policy does indeed provide coverage for damages to your home resulting from a fallen tree (less any applicable deductible) as long as it occurs due to a covered peril, such as lightning or wind. In this case, the wind and severe weather caused the tree to fall, so coverage is intact for damages to your home, fence, and removal of the tree. Keep in mind, however, that if that fallen tree was neglected or dying, coverage may be denied. For further details on this, please contact your local N.C. independent insurance agent.
- A tree falls on your parked car during a severe storm, resulting in auto damages. You may think your homeowners insurance would apply; however, this claim would apply to your N.C. auto insurance policy. Whether the fallen tree is on your property or your neighbors, your auto policy would provide the coverage here for your auto, less any applicable deductible. You may find out; however, that the removal of the tree from your car may not be covered. If you wish to review and discuss the specifics of your N.C. auto insurance policy, contact your local N.C. independent insurance agent.
- Your neighbor’s tree falls onto your home due to hail and lightning and causes damage. You may go to your neighbor and assume it is his/her responsibility; however, if the tree was healthy and well cared for, your homeowners policy would typically be primary. Keep in mind that your insurance carrier, depending on the specifics of the loss, may choose to subrogate for at least some of the claim payment from the neighbor’s homeowners insurance policy.
- During a storm, one of the trees on your property falls, but does not do any damage to the structure of your home. You may assume even with no damage to your home or other insured structures that your N.C. homeowners insurance policy would provide coverage for the debris removal and clean-up of the tree from your property. Most likely you will have to pay for the debris removal and clean-up of the tree on your property.
Key Guidelines if You Have a Fallen Tree on Your Property
If you should experience a fallen tree on your property, it is important to know some key actions you should take. Below are some simple guidelines to follow:
- Contact Your Local N.C. Independent Insurance Agent
- Provide Details- Giving explicit details of the event causing the fallen tree, along with any other details relating to the tree, or areas damaged can help for a smoother claims investigation and claim payout.
- Document Damages- Take photos/inventory of anything damaged, after inspecting to ensure all areas are safe to enter.
- Take Measures to Prevent Further Damage to Your Home/Car
- Be Prepared to Pay a Deductible- If you have questions regarding your current deductible amount for this type of insurance claim, contact your local N.C. independent insurance agent.
You can expect severe weather to occur and if you have any trees on your property and next to your property, you may experience home or auto damages as a result of a fallen tree. Your homeowners and auto insurance typically provide coverage for these damages, but it is important to know the verbiage outlining the specific conditions, provisions, and exclusions. We, at Twin City Insurance Agency, understand your concerns on how to protect your home/auto from a fallen tree and are here to assist you. Call us TODAY at 828-464-2643.