Will my Car be Covered if a Tree Falls on it?

If a tree falls on your car and no one hears it — someone still has to cover the cost of the damages. A falling tree can cause a lot of damage to any vehicle including breaking windows, ruining the exterior paint and causing interior problems, as well. Auto insurance policyholders may wonder, “Will my insurance company assume responsibility for the damage?”. In the following information, we will explain what happens on the insurance side, in the event that a tree falls on your vehicle.

The Difference Between Collision vs. Liability

There are various forms of insurance coverage ranging from the maximum coverage (collision) to the bare minimum coverage (liability). Collision or full coverage car insurance pays not only for damage caused by a collision, but also from damage caused by other events, as well. While this form of coverage is not required by law (liability insurance is required in most states), it is still considered a requirement for many leasing and financing companies.

Comprehensive insurance is the part of collision insurance that pays for damages that are due to natural disasters, flood, fire, vandalism and theft. If a vehicle is damaged because of a falling limb or tree, the automobile will be covered under the comprehensive portion of the policy.

Falling Tree: What is the Payout?

If you have comprehensive coverage on your policy and you experience the unfortunate mishap of having a tree fall on your vehicle, the insurance company will pay the maximum amount, listed on the policy (or the vehicle’s current value) and you will be required to pay the entire deductible amount. Comprehensive coverage is a good investment for any consumer who wants to protect their vehicle and the money they have paid into the vehicle, as well.

Who should get Collision/Comprehensive Coverage?

People who drive cars with a low book value are not recommended to have comprehensive coverage. The insurance company will only pay for the value of the car and the value depreciates each year. Therefore, the cost of monthly (comprehensive) premiums for older vehicles that have depreciated substantially may be higher over time than any benefits for replacement or repairs. According to Consumer Reports, it is a smart move to cancel comprehensive coverage when the comprehensive insurance is at least 10 percent of the book value of the car.

Neighbor’s Tree: Who is Liable?

If the tree is located in a neighbor’s yard and the tree can be determined by the neighbor’s insurance company that the tree was deteriorating because of disease, rot, insects or otherwise, then it should be the neighbor’s responsibility to pay for the damage to your vehicle. In addition, if the fall is caused by a neighbor cutting a tree and making it weaker (or failure to remove a weak tree or limb), the damage can be determined as negligence leaving them, legally responsible. However, if the tree is healthy (or at least looks healthy), then the fall will be legally considered an “Act of God” and the neighbor will not be held liable for the accident.

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