A Tree Fell on Your Car: Now What?

Car, truck and SUV lovers will go to extremes to keep their vehicles in tip-top shape, and Jim Gregg was no different when he bought a new truck. Gregg describes himself as "the kind of person that parks in the back of the parking lot to avoid door dings," so you can imagine his dismay when a tree fell on his truck near his Lorton, Va., home.

A tree fell on a red car.

A storm had broken out with heavy rain and strong winds that shook his house. "I heard a crack and then the alarm on the truck," Gregg says. "I looked out the front window and a large portion of the tree out front had split off at the trunk and was now on top of my new truck. My heart sank."

Gregg did his best to salvage his truck after the storm passed, but the damage was far worse than he anticipated.

Like Gregg, you may have questions about whether the damage to your vehicle is covered, and by whose policy, when these situations arise. If you're the owner of both the fallen tree and the vehicle, your homeowners insurance policy likely won't cover any of the damages to your car. But, if you have comprehensive coverage as part of your auto insurance policy, it would help pay for repairs or replacement, up to your car's actual cash value.

If the tree that fell on your car belongs to a neighbor, in many cases, you would likely still rely on the comprehensive coverage in your auto insurance policy. But, your neighbor's policy may cover the damages if it can be proved that the tree fell due to that person's negligence.

Steps to Consider

What steps should you consider when a tree falls on your car? One of the first things you should do is contact your auto insurance provider to begin the claims process. They'll investigate and provide information on how to obtain an estimate for the repairs.

If your loss is covered, you will receive a check to cover the repairs, or your insurer may pay the repair shop directly. In either case, you should expect to pay your deductible first. You should also be aware that the insurance company will not pay for repairs that cost more than a vehicle is worth. Extreme damage could mean that your car is deemed a total loss, in which case your insurer will pay you (or your lease or lien holder) up to your car's actual cash value, minus your deductible.

Want to make sure you're protected in case of a falling tree, or another type of accidental damage to your car? Get an auto insurance quote today.

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Coverage subject to terms, conditions, and availability. Policy issuance is subject to qualifications. Allstate Insurance Company, Allstate Indemnity Company, Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL. © 2013 Allstate Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL.

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