Bravera Bank

Who Covers the Damage When a Storm Hits

Chicago may be known as the “Windy City,” but the Midwest certainly gets more than its fair share of wind and brutal summer storms. What happens when a summer windstorm causes your neighbor’s tree to fall on your home, fence, or shed? Whose policy pays for the damage to your property?

The answer usually surprises most people. If your neighbor’s tree has fallen due to a storm, it is your homeowner’s policy that pays for the damage to your home and/or property. Remember, it is an act of nature, which isn’t anyone’s fault. While it may seem unfair that you will have to file a claim on your homeowner’s policy and pay your deductible due to damage caused by a tree that is not on your property, the rule does work both ways in the event it is your tree that causes damage to your neighbor’s property.

Know your coverage

Your homeowner’s policy includes a couple of different coverages and limits that come into play for this kind of loss. Coverage A (Dwelling) is what is going to provide coverage for damage to your roof or home. Coverage B (Dwelling Extension or Other Structures) is what is going to provide coverage for damage to things like fences, sheds, or other structures on your property. Coverage B is typically included as a certain percentage of your Coverage A. (Be sure to inform your advisor of any structures on your property to verify your coverage is at an adequate value to repair those structures in the event of a loss.) Additionally, homeowner’s policies often have limits to cover the removal of debris (like fallen trees) included in the policy; however, the limit to this coverage is typically around $500 but can vary based on your policy. Although the damage will be remedied through different coverage limits on your policy, you will only need to file one claim and pay your deductible once because the damage is due to the same loss (storm).

What about vehicles?

If your neighbor’s tree causes damage to your vehicle, it would be your auto policy that would pay for the damage, but only if you have the proper coverage. You would need to have comprehensive coverage in order to file a claim, pay your deductible, and repair the damage to your vehicle.

What can you do to prevent this?

Be vigilant and keep an eye on the trees surrounding your property, whether they be on your property or not. Keep branches trimmed back from structures, remove dead or dying branches, and talk with your neighbor if you have any concerns regarding trees on their property. Try to park your vehicle in a garage or protected area in the event of a storm.

If you would like more information, want to review the limits of your coverage, or have questions about what is covered, please reach out to us!

Questions about insurance? 

Contact one of our insurance advisors by calling 877-483-6811 or by contacting us online. You can also request a quote online.