If a tree falls in your yard, and no one hears it, is it covered by your insurance? What about the cost to remove a fallen tree? The answer, as it is with all insurance questions, is “it depends”. Policy forms vary.
This post assumes that you have an “HO-3” Maine homeowners insurance policy using forms from the Insurance Services Office (ISO). This is the most common type of homeowners policy in Maine.
If so, you probably have coverage for:
- The cost to remove the tree
- The damage to your home, fence or other structure
But, not coverage of the cost to replace the tree itself.
Is a Fallen Tree Blocking Your Driveway?
Depending on the edition of your home insurance policy in Maine, you may have coverage for at least some of the cost to remove a tree that’s blocking your driveway. Even if it didn’t damage any of your property, the 2000 edition of the HO-3 policy provides $1000 of coverage ($500 max per tree). Older forms have no coverage unless the tree hits a covered structure.
Did a Tree Fall on Your Car?
If so, your auto policy, not your homeowners policy, might pay to fix your car. Hopefully, you have Maine auto insurance, and chose to buy “other than collision” (widely known as “comprehensive”) coverage. The cost to remove the tree is not covered by either home or auto insurance, unless the tree blocks your driveway (see above).
If There’s No Damage, There May Be No Coverage
If a tree falls without damaging any insured structures or blocking the driveway, you will likely need to pay the costs to remove it. Some insurance policies provide a limited amount of coverage for these cases. Check with your agent or insurance company to see if yours does.
Did Your Tree Hit Your Neighbor’s Property?
If so, the damage would be covered under THEIR homeowners policy, not yours. If the tree fell due to obvious neglect, your liability insurance might apply. For a more detailed explanation, see our prior post “Is Your Fallen Tree Covered by Maine Homeowners Insurance?”
Tips to File an Insurance Claim for a Fallen Tree
- Take photos, preferably from different angles to show the damage.
- If utility wires are involved, stay away! Call your electric utility to have the wires cleared.
- Call your insurance agent or company to report the claim.
If you live in Greater Portland Maine, contact a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent for answers to your Maine renters insurance, homeowners insurance and condo insurance questions. 207-799-5541. We’re independent and committed to you.