Navigating car insurance coverage can be a tricky thing. Who is liable and who is at fault determine who pays for what and how much they pay.
Let's get into the age-old question: "If a tree falls in the forest does it makes a sounds while landing on your car, and more importantly who pays for the damage?"
What Car Insurance Coverage Covers A Fallen Tree?
Comprehensive coverage covers the damage that is caused by a tree falling on your car.
Comprehensive coverage will cover the costs of the repairs on your vehicle but will require that you pay a deductible, which varies depending on the type of coverage you've obtained.
Comprehensive insurance will allow you to obtain a check after the damage is evaluated by one of your insurance company’s adjusters. The check may also be sent to the repair shop or to the lender.
Comprehensive insurance covers this type of damage when the tree fell over due to natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Another incident that this insurance coverage type covers is if the tree falls over due to a fire.
If the cost to repair the damages is less than the deductible then you don't need to file a claim with your insurance provider.
You can also ask your insurance company’s claims department how you can expedite the process and move it along quicker, which may include providing additional information.
In many cases, using the preferred repair shop of your insurance company will make the process quicker and smoother.
Who Is Liable If A Tree Falls On Your Car When It Is Parked?
If one of your neighbor's trees falls on your car that is parked, then they're responsible for the cost of the repairs. You'll be required to provide proof that their tree fell on your vehicle and, if possible, that they knew it was damaged or decaying.
Both you and your neighbor’s insurance companies will begin to dispute the claim if there's a lack of proof provided. Your car insurance company will likely contact your neighbor’s homeowner’s insurance company to file the claim.
If a city tree falls on your car, then you'll need to contact your local government authority. The city will be liable for the damages.
If a tree on your own property falls on your vehicle then you'll be liable. Your insurance company may be capable of proving that you knew the tree was a hazard, which will prevent them from being required to pay for the necessary repairs. As a homeowner, you're responsible for the health of the trees on your property. You'll have to pay out of pocket for the damages.
Unfortunately, your homeowner’s insurance policy will only cover the cost of damage that occurs to your residential property and will not cover any costs if you were negligent with caring for the tree.
Does Car Insurance Cover Fallen Trees?
There are a few situations where comprehensive coverage won't cover a fallen tree. This includes if you ran into the tree with your vehicle, which caused it to fall.
Collision insurance will cover this type of damage because it covers damages when you hit static objects due to an accident you caused. Collision coverage is considered to be supplemental insurance in many instances and is an add-on to your standard car insurance policy.
Don't plan any repairs until the insurance companies involved have determined who is responsible. Immediately contact your insurance company. If the cost of the repairs is more than the value of the car than your vehicle will be totaled.
The insurance adjuster will determine the actual cash value of your car before cutting you a check to ensure you can purchase a new vehicle, if your car is determined to be totaled.