Snow and ice cause a tree to collapse and damage your property.
Are you covered?
The answer is “It depends.”
Here’s what usually happens if the weight of ice or snow causes a tree or a tree limb to fall on your property.
- A tree or tree limb falls on and damages your car. Your auto policy will cover the damage as long as you have “Other Than Collision/Comprehensive” coverage. It does not matter whether or not you own the tree. If you live in an area that gets snow and ice, you should think about this coverage.
- A tree or tree limb falls on and damages your house. This happens quite a lot – it’s the third most common claim related to winter weather. Your homeowners policy should cover the damage, and that’s a very good thing. Depending on where you live, the average cost of repairing this type of damage is $6,000.But a big tree hitting your house can cause about $10,000 of damage.
- A tree or tree limb falls on and damages your garage, fence, or other structure on your property. Yes, this happens. Fortunately, your policy should cover this too. Just keep in mind that a different part of your homeowners policy ("Part B – Other Structures," if you’re interested) covers damage to these structures. That means that your coverage amount will be different. It’s best to check your policy to see how much coverage you have. Or call us at 800.342.5342 for some help.
- A tree or tree limb falls across your driveway or walkway, or across a ramp or other fixture that allows a disabled person access to your home. Yes, you’d be covered by the “debris removal” section of your homeowners policy, which is a very good thing because hiring a service to cut up and remove the tree can get pretty pricey.
- A tree or limb from a tree you own that you know if dead, diseased, or damaged falls and damages your neighbor’s garage, fence, or other structure. In this case, your homeowner policy’s liability coverage may apply even if you were aware of the tree’s hazardous condition and failed to take action to remove it. Take notice of the trees on your property and remove any that are no longer healthy; remove limbs that are damaged or dead. If you own a tree in poor shape that falls and damages a neighbor’s property, your neighbor’s insurance company may make a claim against you to recover the costs of paying the claim.
When might coverage not apply?
A tree/tree limb falls on your property but does not damage any structures, or does not fall across your driveway or walkway, or disabled access fixture. In this case, a standard policy will not pay to remove the tree or tree limb.
Contact us to learn more
Our Risk Coaches™ are licensed insurance professionals who are trained to look at coverage from your perspective. They’re glad to help you navigate the often-perplexing world of insurance coverage. Start a quote online, or call us at 800.342.5342, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.