You park your car outdoors in most cases. And outdoors, there are plenty of hazards that might damage your vehicle. Among the most prevalent of these threats is the risk of falling trees and limbs. We all like to park in the shade, but even in the calmest situations debris might damage the car. What do you do if this occurs? Will your auto insurance cover you?
Falling limbs cause vehicle damage all the time. Depending on the accident, how insurance will pay might vary.
Tree Damage from Your Property
In most cases, you can’t predict when a tree or large limb will break loose and fall on your car. This might occur in good weather or bad, calm or windy conditions. Your auto insurance will often pay for the damage caused by the falling vegetation. However, certain restrictions might apply.
- You usually must carry comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance to claim damage. Comprehensive insurance covers vehicle damage from non-accident hazards. If you don’t have this coverage, you might not have protection.
- Most car insurance policies will include deductibles. The deductible is a set amount of money you must pay for vehicle damage before the policy pays. If damage costs don’t exceed the deductible, your policy will not pay for the damage.
- Limits and exclusions exist on most policies. Some will not pay for damage from falling items.
If a tree or limb falls on your vehicle and causes obvious damage, don’t remove it yourself. Immediately call your car insurer. They’ll likely want you to take pictures of the damage, and work with an adjuster to document the claim.
Still, do all you can in the first place to prevent vehicle damage when you can. Park in a garage or covered area at all times. Remove dead vegetation from your property. At the very least, don’t park under trees during bad weather, and keep limbs trimmed away from your driveway.
Tree Damage from Others
Your own trees won’t just fall on your property. Others can as well. When vegetation belonging to others damages your car, their insurance often comes into play.
Let’s say a tree on your neighbor’s property falls onto your car. That makes the damage the responsibility of the neighbor. Their property liability insurance might cover the damage. The same protection might apply if a tree in a business parking lot falls on the vehicle. Commercial liability insurance might cover your damage.
Following damage, contact your insurance agent at 410-312-7800 to find out if you have protection. Then, determine whose coverage needs to apply to the situation.