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Insurance Claims When a Tree Falls on Your Car

If a tree falls in the woods and hits your car when no one is around, will it make a sound and will you be covered? It's this philosophical question that we will answer for you in this article. Often when an accident occurs there is a collision of some sort and then the insurance companies decide who pays what depending on the circumstances of the collision and the laws in place in those states. Other times it is more difficult to ascertain fault especially when the driver isn't in the vehicle and had no part in the accident apart from being at the wrong place at the wrong time. This article will endeavor to answer all your questions about what happens when a tree or tree limb falls on your vehicle and damages it without provocation. This article will also discuss what happens when the driver hits a fallen tree limb and really just covering a slew of tree-related insurance questions.

Types of Fallen Tree Damage

Trees fall, this is a fact but when they fall change the dynamics of the collision. In the instance of weather-related damage, a falling branch will be covered in the same way as water or hail damage to the vehicle. Most of this damage can be mitigated by parking your vehicle in a garage or carport to shield your vehicle. The other type occurs while driving. Some older trees are prone to falling completely at random and at times they may impact your vehicle on the road.

Hitting a tree branch in the middle of the road is treated differently than falling trees. In the case that a driver hits a branch on the road it will likely be covered with comprehensive or collision coverage. There may be factors that alter your insurance company’s willingness to cover damages incurred from hitting a fallen tree branch. It becomes important in this scenario to document as much of the accident as possible for your insurer to best assess your individual coverage and whether or not your rates will increase.

How Do I Handle Tree Damage With My Insurer?

Most agencies have products in place to deal with weather and roadside tree falling unfortunately they aren't offered with all their policies. Liability covers damage done to other vehicles so it doesn't apply to a tree or a portion of a tree falling on your vehicle. Collision coverage covers your car and the other person in the accident. Trees aren't a variable in collision coverage since with probably few exceptions trees don't have drivers. The only thing cover tree or limbs falling is comprehensive coverage. Nothing else comes close to covering this sort of damage. Hitting a limb or a tree on the road is covered by collision coverage but again there may be circumstances that disallow collision coverage from paying out. In general, if you park in an area with trees it may be wise to increase your coverage to comprehensive to deal with these contingencies. In terms of handling these scenarios always document damage to the best of your ability and contact your insurer as soon as possible to deal with the aftermath.

There are some special circumstances where car insurance may not cover your vehicle's damage but your home insurance will. If your car is parked in a garage and a tree limb crashes through the garage during a storm and subsequently damages your vehicle then you will work through home insurance to cover the damage to your vehicle and by and large they will take care of it. That is of course dependent on your policy and you would be wise to check with your agent when this sort of scenario occurs. Bundling auto and home insurance may also take care of falling tree limbs if both are damaged by a weather event. Bundling will often take the higher deductible for both your insured items. Check with your insurer for bundling options available.

There are many factors to consider when your vehicle is damaged by incidents outside your control but with reference to trees or their limbs falling on your vehicle comprehensive coverage is likely your best option. Otherwise, you may be left with a busted vehicle and a large price tag for its repair.

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