Fallen trees can happen out of nowhere. The next thing you know, your power is out for the next eight hours until the electrical company can repair a telephone pole across the street that was suddenly hit by a large tree. But what if your car is the target of a fallen tree or heavy tree limb? Are you covered by your auto insurance policy?
Continue reading to learn what you need to know about your car insurance policy in the case of a tree falling on top of your car.
Liability Car Insurance Does Not Cover Tree Damage
Tree damage can cause an extensive amount of repair needs to a vehicle, especially older cars, or rare models whose parts can be obsolete or difficult to track down. Having adequate car insurance coverage in the case of an unexpected fallen tree can be a great asset, whether you need automotive repair or a whole new car.
All states require basic liability insurance coverage for drivers, regardless of the vehicle make or model. A liability car insurance policy helps to cover property damages and bodily injury expenses to another driver and/or their passengers. It does not, however, cover car damages caused by falling objects, in this case, trees or tree limbs.
Additional Car Insurance Coverage
In some states, additional automotive coverage may be required by law, such as uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, gap insurance coverage, and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. In all states, drivers have the option of choosing additional automotive insurance plans, such as comprehensive automotive insurance coverage, rental reimbursement coverage, and new car replacement coverage. All of these automotive insurance policies would help cover damages caused by a falling tree or branch.
Comprehensive Auto Coverage
Comprehensive car insurance is the standard among drivers here in Indiana. Most Hoosiers have comprehensive automotive insurance coverage, which fortunately covers car damages caused by unforeseeable falling objects, like trees and tree limbs. That is because comprehensive car insurance is meant to cover damage to your vehicle that’s caused by incidences other than a car wreck.
In addition to fallen tree damages, comprehensive car insurance policies will generally help pay for theft, vandalism, wildlife tampering, and inclement weather damages such as hail. Comprehensive automotive insurance coverage is an optional upgrade to basic liability coverage for all drivers in Indiana. However, it is required for drivers who are financing or leasing a car.
Coverage Limits and Deductibles
Before making a claim with your car insurance carrier for damages caused by a fallen tree or tree limb, it is important to review your coverage limits and your deductible. Your deductible is the payment you will make out-of-pocket, while your coverage limit is the money funded to you by your insurance carrier.
For instance, if your coverage limit is $20K and your deductible is $500, your car insurance carrier will cover automotive damages up to $20K and you only have to pay $500 for it all. If your car is totaled and you have to buy a new one, you would be required to pay your deductible, plus any money owed beyond the remaining $19,500 that your insurance policy would pay out for car replacement.
Homeowners Insurance and Fallen Trees on Cars
If the tree or tree limb falls on top of your car at home, your homeowners’ insurance policy will not cover your automotive damages. Instead, you would file a claim with your automotive insurance carrier. The only time your homeowners’ insurance policy will pay for automotive damages caused by a fallen tree or tree limb is if your tree on your property falls onto a neighbor’s car or a visitor’s car.
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