When a storm comes through and your tree suffers from falling branches, you may be left wondering what to do. Who is responsible? Should you call your auto insurance or home insurance provider? There are various factors that play a role in the determination of who should be responsible for paying for this type of accident. It's quite common for accidents like this to happen right in your driveway. But, before you worry about the tree—or even removing it—consider the following.
Who Owns the Tree?
In general, who pays for the damage will be determined by figuring out who is responsible for the tree. If it is on your property, then the care and maintenance of it is your responsibility. Your insurance company can cover it in most cases. If the branch is from a neighbor's tree, though, this may mean that their policy is responsible for coverage, even if the tree branch hangs over your driveway and home.
Which Policy Should You Use?
This is where things can become a bit tricky. If you are the owner of the damaged car and the tree, then it is unlikely that your home insurance will pay for the damage to your car. It will likely pay for damage to your home from such a fall, though. On the other hand, if you have a car insurance plan that offers comprehensive coverage, this policy is likely to pay for the damages to your car. It may help pay for both repairs and replacements up to the value of the car, depending on the terms of your auto insurance policy.
If you have a tree that's damaged your car, don't move it. Call your insurance provider. Discuss the circumstances and take as many pictures as you can. If your policy covers the tree branch damage, it may cover the removal of the branch, cleanup and repairs to the car as well. The key is to turn to the right coverage and plan. If your neighbor is responsible, be sure to contact that insurance company directly about your claim. And, again, document everything to ensure you are protecting your assets.
Learn more about what your coverage can do for you. Call Harlan Rossmann Agency at 763-746-2242 for more information on auto insurance.