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If tree falls and damages my house, does homeowners insurance cover it?

One good storm can blow through and topple even the sturdiest of trees in the yard. And, once the storm passes, you may be wondering whether your homeowners insurance will help pay for the cost of removing the branches or repairing damage if the tree fell on your home.

The answer to this question is, "It depends." Homeowners insurance typically protects your home and other structures, such as a fence or shed, against specific causes of loss such as wind. So, the situation that caused the tree to fall is important. If the tree was otherwise healthy and damaged your home because of wind, a typical homeowners insurance policy may help pay to repair damage to your home or other structure on your property, the Insurance Information Institute says.

However, homeowners insurance usually won't cover loss or damage caused by negligence or a maintenance-related issue. So, if the tree was already rotting and ready to fall before the storm, homeowners insurance likely would not cover the damage the tree caused to your home.

If a tree falls and causes no structural damage, meaning your house doesn't need any repairs, your homeowners insurance policy typically will not cover tree debris removal. However, sometimes insurance companies may help cover the cost of removal if the fallen tree becomes an obstacle for drivers like blocking a driveway or roadway.

If your neighbor's tree falls on your home (or other structure such as a shed or fence) because of wind, your homeowners insurance may help pay to repair the damage to your own house. Say a storm knocked your healthy tree onto your neighbor's house —your neighbor will likely have to file a claim through his or her own insurance.

If a tree falls, and does not damage a structure on your property, homeowners insurance likely won't cover the cost of removing the debris.

Your homeowners insurance typically will not cover damage if a tree falls on your car. However, you may be able to file an auto insurance claim if you have comprehensive coverage on your car insurance policy. Comprehensive coverage typically helps pay to repair damage to your car caused by falling objects.

Before filing your home insurance claim, remember you will have to pay your deductible you elected on your policy, which is your share of the covered claim. If you are not sure if the damage to your structure will exceed your deductible, it is a good idea to get an estimate from a trusted roofer or contractor prior to filing your claim. If you file a claim, and the damage does not exceed your deductible, you not only do not receive any insurance proceeds, you also now have an unnecessary claim on your record that could affect your insurance in the future.

If you have questions about homeowners insurance, give us a call at (870) 336-2121 or visit us at Selby Insurance is located at 2216 Wilkins Avenue in Jonesboro, AR. Stop by and see us anytime.


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