Oh trees and insurance... "If a tree falls in my yard am I covered?" "What if a tree hits my home?" These are questions we get all of the time. Let's jump right in and address the first question:
What happens when a tree falls in your yard and DOES NOT hit your home: Whether it's your neighbor's tree or your tree, most MA homeowners insurance companies will not pay for it to be cleaned up (debris removal). However, if it is blocking the street or a ramp designed for the handicapped, some insurance companies may pay for the cost of removing it. If you notice that your neighbor's tree is damaged and may possibly fall on your property, be proactive and talk to your neighbor about removing it before it falls.
So what happens when the tree falls and DOES hit your home?
If a tree falls and hits your home or another covered structure on your home (detached garage, shed) a standard MA homeowners insurance policy will pay for the debris removal (up to a certain amount) and any resulting damage to your home (less your deductible of course). If it was your neighbor's tree that did the damage, your insurance policy will still pay. In some cases the insurance company may go after the neighbor's insurer for reimbursement. If they are successful in doing this, you may be refunded your deductible.
While we're on the topic, if a tree falls and hits your car - that's actually an auto insurance claim. MA homeowners insurance policies exclude any damage to your vehicles. If a tree falls and damages your car, you would file a claim under your MA auto insurance policy as a "comprehensive" claim.
As always please contact us to review your MA insurance policies. Insurance can be tricky.. We'd love to help you out and make sure that you have the coverages that you need. We can be reached at (978) 562-3464.
Thomas E. Sears Insurance Agency, Inc.