Autumn is in the air, which means all kinds of volatile weather—windstorms, rain, eventually snow. Now is the time to think about your Homeowner’s Insurance and whether or not you’ll be protected in case of events beyond your control.
The basic homeowner’s insurance policy provides coverage for various “perils.” One of these is windstorm damage. In Massachusetts, the weather can be very volatile as a new season settles in, with gusty winds and heavy rains. So this coverage is important to know about.
Many homeowners are confused about what is covered when it comes to a falling tree. We’ll try to clear that up here. When a tree falls on your property or your neighbor’s, who pays for the damage? The short answer: It depends on what caused the tree to fall.
For example, because wind damage is a typically covered peril, if a healthy tree falls on your property due to wind, a standard homeowner’s insurance policy will likely pay to help repair damage done to your home or other structures on your property. However, if the tree was neglected and rotting, this would fall in the maintenance category, and your insurance company would not cover damage done to your house.
If a tree falls in your yard and does NOT cause any damage, you’ll most likely have to pay for the cost of removing it yourself.
If your tree falls on your neighbor’s property, or your neighbor’s tree falls on your property, the law in Massachusetts says that the one whose property was damaged will need their insurance to cover it. For example, even if your neighbor’s tree is the one that did the damage, your insurance will have to pay for it. And visa versa.
The only time you’d be responsible for your tree falling in your neighbor’s yard is in cases of neglect. If you didn’t take care of a rotting tree and it falls on your neighbor’s property, you are held responsible. But if a windstorm knocks over an otherwise healthy tree that belongs to you, and it falls in your neighbor’s yard, your neighbor will have to file a claim with his insurance company.
Deductibles and Coverage
You need to understand that you’ll most likely have to pay your deductible before you can expect your insurance company to pay for any covered losses. Depending on your policy, there are coverage limits, too. It’s good to understand what your policy says before you need it!
Other Structures On Your Property
Homeowner’s Insurance Property Protection covers other buildings or structures that aren’t part of your main dwelling. These may include a detached garage, storage shed, barn (not used for business), driveway, fence, patio, and other similar structures. A standard policy may only cover 10% of your main home coverage. If you do the math, a detached garage is usually worth more than that. So it may be desirable for you to get additional coverage for other structures on your property, in case you need to replace the cost of them. If your neighbor’s tree falls on your detached garage during a windstorm, you may wish you had additional coverage!
Homeowner’s Insurance policies can seem confusing. It’s a good idea to meet with consultants like the professionals at Zawada Insurance Agency to go over your needs. We’ll help you get the right insurance coverage that includes everything you need—and nothing you don’t.
Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond