According to a recent Florida homeowners insurance poll, about 82% of the respondents do not know who pays for a downed tree.
There are some questions that we do not ask ourselves until we are faced with a problem. When we face such questions, we tend to find ourselves trusting someone else instead of taking our time and doing some research. Have you ever wondered who will pay for the damage when a tree falls? Will the homeowners’ insurance pay it and what is the precondition? What if it falls on the street or even worse, your neighbor’s roof? What if it falls onto your car, an oncoming car, or your neighbor’s car?
Here are a few scenarios and how they are typically handled in Florida:
If a tree were to fall on your roof, guest house, detached garage or other structure, which is insured, your homeowners insurance Florida company will pay for the extraction of the tree as well as to fix the damage. You will be solely responsible for paying your deductible but, the rest of the expense is completely covered.
If a tree falls onto the street, you should call your city’s public works department and you should ask them how to handle the situation. As it might block the road and it might cause hindrance to other people. In major cities, they might pick up the tab of clearing the street but do not expect them to remove the portion of the tree that is in your yard.
If a tree were to fall and it does not cause any damage, you are probably on your own. Since nothing was damaged, and you did not suffer a loss, your homeowners insurance Florida Homeowners insurance companies will probably not pay for the removal; but there may be a few exceptions. For instance, if the tree is blocking your driveway or if it damages a slope that allows entry for any disabled residents, in those situations it is a possibility that they might cover it.
If this situation were to happen, your neighbor will most likely not be happy. He or she will have to file a claim with his or her Florida homeowners insurance company. If it landed on and damage their car, the auto insurance will pay for the repairs. What’s interesting is, if your neighbor told you previously mentioned that the fallen tree was damaged, his or her insurance company may try to redeem the loss from your homeowners policy. The best way to avoid this unforeseen incident would be to check if your tree might have any visible cracks or large dead branches. If it does, you should have it assessed and urgently detached, especially if you see it may become a safety hazard.
Since Florida Homeowners insurance companies have various policies in regards to trees, you should read your policy thoroughly. Visit the website and if more information is not available there, it is always best to call your insurance agent and ask questions that you are not clear about. They will send an agent out to visit your home and to examine your property. Just like any other type of loss, if something were to happen, take as many photographs as you can, so you have evidence. You should not assume that incidents like this will never happen because at some point in our lives, out of the ordinary, unfortunate events do occur and one should be prepared for these events.