Does Auto Insurance Cover a Tree Falling on My Car?

Trees fall on cars all the time. But what if it happens to you? We’ve got you covered.
tree falls on car

The unthinkable happens—you walk out with your keys in hand and see that a giant tree has crashed down on your car. What now? You might feel at a loss after such an event.

For starters, you may wonder how you can get the tree off your car. And most importantly, you’ll probably want to figure out if your car insurance covers events like this. This article will tell you how your car insurance covers a tree falling on your car.

Am I Covered?

Comprehensive auto coverage will take care of damages to your car from things out of your control, such as a falling tree or object. You’ll only need to pay the deductible if you have comprehensive insurance. Your insurer will cover the rest. Comprehensive auto insurance covers damage from:

  • Falling objects such as trees, limbs, and light poles
  • Hitting an animal with your car
  • Natural disasters
  • Vandalism
  • Theft

Note that only drivers with comprehensive will have coverage if a tree falls on their car. You’ll have to pay for all the repairs yourself if all you have is liability insurance. Consider adding comprehensive coverage to your policy to ensure you’re covered before a tree hits your car. Compare quotes for comprehensive coverage from multiple insurance companies to get the best rate.

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Does It Matter Who the Tree Belongs To?

You’ll be responsible if it was your tree that damaged your car. But what if the tree belonged to your next-door neighbor or the city? Things could get a little more tricky in that case. You’ll need to prove that the person who owned the tree was negligent and could have prevented it from falling. Here’s what to expect if the fallen tree didn’t belong to you:

Your Neighbor’s Tree Hit Your Car

Unless you can prove your neighbor was negligent for their tree falling over, you’ll still have to pay to repair your car’s damages. Your neighbor would only need to pay to fix your car if it was clear that they were responsible for the tree falling over.

Proving negligence isn’t always easy, though. If your neighbor’s tree was obviously dead, unstable, or had low-hanging limbs, you might be able to prove it was their fault. You could also have enough proof if you can show that you tried to tell your neighbor that the tree was dangerous, especially if you have written evidence.

The Tree Belongs to the City

Like if a neighbor’s tree hits your car, you’ll have to prove the city is responsible if a tree falls on your car in a park, street, or another city-owned area. Keep in mind that it’ll also be hard to gather enough evidence to prove that the city was at fault for the tree hitting your car. You can start by notifying the city about the incident. They’ll remove the tree and might let you know if the tree was a problem.

If you can’t prove negligence on the city’s part, your comprehensive insurance will cover the damages to your car and all you’ll have to pay is your deductible.

What Happens If a Tree Falls on My Car While Driving?

If a tree randomly falls on your car while you’re driving down the street, your comprehensive coverage will pay for repairs, minus your deductible. This is because it’s something that you can’t predict and likely can’t avoid as a driver.

However, if you crash into a tree that has already fallen and was in the middle of the road, your collision coverage will pay to fix your car. Just like comprehensive, the only thing you’d have to pay with collision is your deductible. This incident is different from a tree falling on your car because you likely could’ve avoided hitting the downed tree if you saw it blocking the road.

If a tree falls on your car or you accidentally collide with one, it’s important to have proper coverage. Without it, you could end up paying out of pocket for all your car’s repairs. It’s a good idea to add full coverage, including collision and comprehensive, to your policy so you’re ready for anything.

How Can I Avoid Tree Damage?

Let’s face it, it’s hard to avoid a tree falling on your car. You’ll often hear it called an “act of God,” because you can’t control it. But there are some proactive things you can do to lessen your chances:

  • Park your car in a garage, carport, or other covered area whenever possible
  • Try not to park your car right under a tree
  • Trim loose or low limbs and branches if you own a tree
  • Ask your next-door neighbors to keep their trees trimmed and consider cutting down unstable trees on their property

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does car insurance pay to fix my car if a tree falls on it?

A: If you have it, your comprehensive coverage will pay to fix your car if a tree falls on it. You’d only need to pay your auto deductible. Also, your collision coverage will pay for your repairs if you hit a tree that has already fallen while driving.

Q: Who pays when your neighbor’s tree falls on your car?

A: This largely depends on who’s at fault for the tree falling. In short, if you can prove that your neighbor could’ve stopped the tree from falling, then they’ll pay for the damages. However, you’ll have to pay if you can’t prove that it was their fault. All you’d have to pay is your deductible if you have comprehensive insurance.

Q: What should I do if a tree falls on my car?

A: A tree falling on your car can be a shocking experience, whether you’re driving while it happens or if you walk out and see it. Below are some quick steps you can take if a tree falls on your car:

  • Do your best to document the scene. Use your smartphone or a camera to take pictures of the damage to your car, as well as the tree. Also consider taking notes of the scene, such as where your car was parked (driveway, street, park, etc.). This will be helpful during the claims process.
  • Call your insurance. The faster you contact your insurer and start the claims process, the faster you can get your car the repairs it needs. Make sure to fill them in on all the details of the incident and follow all their instructions.
  • Try to clear away the tree and other debris if it’s safe. Call a tree removal service if you can’t move the fallen tree or branch off your car yourself.

Q: Is a tree falling on a car an act of God?

A: Most insurers label an incident as an act of God if it’s random and hard to avoid. A tree falling on your vehicle is an act of God because there is nothing you can do to stop it.

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