It’s almost that time of the year. The Holidays are upon us and with that brings cooler temperatures in Oklahoma and at times, unpredictable snow and ice. This time of year brings up so many questions about what your insurance does and does not cover.
With winter officially arriving on December 21, it’s an ideal time to review your Oklahoma homeowners insurance and auto policy on what it covers when it comes to damage from trees falling.
Here are five important things to keep in mind:
1. Your Oklahoma home insurance likely covers tree removal if it damages your home or other structures covered on your policy.
It happens all the time… an entire tree or tree limb falls on your house or damages a fence or your shed. What happens now?
Your Oklahoma home insurance typically will help with the cost of removing the tree and fixing the damage to your property that it caused. Keep in mind, that if the damage is less than your deductible then it won’t be worth filing a claim.
Examples of covered incidents can include strong winds knocking a tree over onto your roof or lightning striking a tree, causing it to fall on your fence.
However, if a tree falls due to neglect, you may not receive any coverage. So, keep your trees in good shape, and ask your neighbors to do the same.
2. If there’s no damage to your property, there’s probably no coverage.
Many people assume that your Oklahoma homeowner’s insurance will help cover the cost of removal of any fallen trees or fallen tree limbs, but that isn’t usually the case. If a tree falls on your property and it doesn’t cause any damage to your home or other structures insurance typically will not help and you will likely have to pay for the tree removal cost out of your own pocket.
3. The city or municipality you live may clean up your trees that fall in the street, but you may still be required to file an insurance claim.
It’s important to check with the city you reside in to figure out who is responsible for removing that tree that has fallen into the street. If the city does help, it may only help for the portion that is actually in the street. The remaining part of the tree on your property is usually the homeowner’s responsibility. Your insurance may kick in if your home property was damaged from the tree falling.
4. You may have coverage even if a tree falls from your neighbor’s property.
When a trees falls and damages your property, your home insurance policy typically will pitch in no matter who owns the tree, Depending on the circumstances, your insurance may try to recoup some cost by going back on your neighbors insurance. An example of this might be if the neighbor was negligent in caring for the tree before it fell.
5. Your car insurance may cover damage to your vehicle from a fallen tree.
If a tree falls and damages your car, Oklahoma auto insurance would be the policy to respond, not your homeowners insurance, as long as you have physical damage coverage. If you don’t have physical damage car then your personal auto policy won’t cover repairing your vehicle. Insurance may not pay for the cost to remove the tree from atop your car.
It’s important to remember that every insurance company handles fallen trees differently, it all will depend on the specifics of the claim and the coverage that you purchased.
Tips on how to File a Claim for Fallen Trees or Tree Limbs
Take photos: Photos taken from many angles and vantage points help to establish the extent and cause of the damage. Be careful not to go near fallen trees that are entangled in power lines, however. And don’t climb onto an unstable surface to get better photos.
Provide as many details as possible: If, for example, a neighbor’s tree was neglected and fell onto your property, causing damage, be sure to tell your carrier. If a storm caused the tree to fall, be sure to provide details about the severity of the weather.
Be prepared to pay your deductible: If you experience a covered loss due to a fallen tree, you will be responsible for paying the appropriate deductible.
Your homeowners insurance, or car insurance, covers damage from a fallen tree in many instances. But, it’s important to know when you’re covered and when you’re not. So review your policy with your local insurance agent and ask plenty of questions about when a fallen tree is covered by your insurance and when it isn’t.
Time for Your Annual Insurance Review?
An annual insurance review helps ensure your policies are up to date with the coverage you need today. Visit our website at www.eciagency.com to chat with us about your annual review or text or call us at 405-373-2977.