Did you know that severe storms in the U.S. caused more than $4.2 billion in property damage in the year 2015 alone (source)?
Although there are no statistics to show how much of that damage was caused by falling trees specifically, they are considered a common source of damage to not just homes, but power lines and other important infrastructure too.
But there’s something terrifying about the very thought of a tree falling in your house property and obstructing the garage door. In this kind of a situation, you can get stuck at your residence not able to drive away in the event a serious storm is about to hit the area.
Have you had a look at the condition of trees around your property and wondered if they would be able to hold up during bad weather? Read on to learn about what you can do if you have to face such a trouble.
When a tree falls down and hits a house or obstructs the garage, the damage is usually covered under a standard homeowners’ policy, minus the deductible. As mentioned under the “Additional Coverage” section of most policies, the cost of removing the fallen tree would be covered at a fixed rate of $500 per tree or $1,000 per incident.
If the tree comes down during a storm and doesn’t hit or obstruct anything, the cost of removing the fallen tree becomes the responsibility of the homeowner, says Thomas, operation manager at ABC Garage Doors. But if the tree blocks the traffic access or a driveway too, at least a part of the total removal cost would usually be covered under many insurance policies.
It’s advisable that you call up your insurance company to seek help if a tree falls down and obstructs the entrance to the garage door of your house. More often than not, they will have the database of reliable restoration service providers you can call if you need quick repairs and want the fallen tree out of your way as soon as possible.
This is quite helpful in an emergency situation when you don’t have much time to search for the contractor’s licenses or Better Business Bureau ratings.
If you contact a reputable restoration or remediation company, they won’t usually ask you to pay any money for the damage out of your pocket. They will file everything through the insurance company and get the problem fixed in the least amount of time possible.
What to do if a neighboring tree fell on your property?
If you believe the tree owner was negligent about the condition of the fallen tree (perhaps a visible disease that was ignored), then you may choose to file a lawsuit against him or her. Having said this, keep in mind that such trials can often end up being a bit lengthy and expensive, plus it can be challenging to prove the neighbor’s negligence.
Who’s responsibility it is to get the fallen tree removed from the vicinity?
The fallen tree removal liability varies by municipality. For example, some parts of Houston may have set higher standards of care. You may want to check with the arborist division at your municipality’s office to figure out the standards and rules in your local area. Also, you can reach out to few of the local tree removal contractors and see what they say.