Tree falls on your property: Who’s responsible for paying?
New Jersey’s most recent storm has left many wondering what to do about home and auto damage caused by fallen trees and branches.
If a tree or limb falls on a car, that would normally be covered under the optional comprehensive portion of an auto policy.
If a tree in your yard falls on your house, home insurance would typically cover the removal costs and any home damage. However, if your tree falls in your neighbor’s yard, their insurance will be responsible for covering any damage — and vice versa.
Tracy Noble, a spokeswoman for AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman, said the first step in successfully filing a claim is to assess the damage to your home, vehicle and surrounding areas.
Noble also recommends contacting your insurance agent immediately and taking several pictures.
“That way if you need to make minor repairs before an adjustor arrives, you have proof of what the situation was” she said. “If you need to purchase items to do minor repairs before you can get a contractor out, save the receipts so that you can submit them to the insurance provider later.”
Noble also recommends saving damaged pieces of property, such as siding or roofing, to show the insurance adjustor when they visit the house.
In order to make the claims process as easy as possible, AAA encourages people to gets answers to these questions:
- Am I covered?
- Does my claim exceed my deductible?
- How long will it take to process a claim?
- Is an estimate for repairs required?
Noble recommends that everyone review their insurance policies to see if they are adequately covered, just in case they experience any damage next time.