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  • Writer's pictureR Griffin

What do I do?-Tree Falls on Car

Talk about a great morning.

You go outside to get into your car to drive to work, running really close to being late, and look up and boom! Last night's storms have left you a present in the form of a tree through your cars roof.


Your mind races. What insurance covers this? How am I going to get to work? Who pays to remove the tree?

Luckily for you, we can answer some of those questions for you in the event that something like this happens.

4 steps after a tree damages your car:

1. Photos- Take pictures of the damage to your car, and the area around including the branch or tree and where it fell from. The more the better in this situation.

2. Clear- Clear any debris that's on your car, assuming that it is safe to and will not cause anymore damage to the vehicle.

3. Review- Call your insurance agent and go over your policies to make sure they are covered.

4. File a claim- If the damage is extensive enough, file a claim with your insurance company.

What insurance should I file under:

In most cases, tree damage to a car would be filed under the "Comprehensive" part of your personal auto coverage.

Comprehensive Coverage covers damage to your vehicle that's not caused by a collision. It typically helps cover things like theft, hail damage, animal damage and tree damage. If you do not have comprehensive coverage on your car, you could file under your homeowners insurance policy (if parked at your home) but those claims are iffy to get paid at best. So, if you park your car on the street, or outside of a garage its best to add comprehensive coverage to your policy.

A neighbor's tree fell on my car. Who pays for damages?

Whether it's your neighbor's tree, a city-owned tree, or a tree in your work's parking lot, it will probably be considered an "act of God" by your insurance company. However, if you can show negligence on the part of the tree's owner, then you may be reimbursed for the cost of repairs. For example, if you can prove that your neighbor ignored a dead, rotting tree for weeks before a branch fell on your car, then you may be able to get them to cover the damages.

Is a car likely to be totaled after getting hit by a falling tree?

A car may or may not be totaled after a tree falls on it; it all depends on the cost of repairs. States differ slightly in their definitions, but cars are generally considered totaled when the cost of repairs is nearly as much as the actual cash value of the car. If a large branch breaks through the roof of an older car, then that car is probably totaled. If a small branch cracks the windshield of a brand new car, then that car probably isn't totaled.

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