I received a phone call from a woman earlier today. She was a little distraught because she was getting a bill from her apartment complex for a tree that she hit with her car. She is a slightly older woman, 87, and lives in an independent living center.
She had already had her car repaired which cost $1,700. Now she was getting an unexpected bill for the tree as well.
Honestly, this was the first time I have been asked about a bill for a tree. I’m sure we have had accidents in the past that involved trees but maybe our clients never asked us about it. I had no idea as to whether or not the tree would be covered or not.
There is also a concern about whether or not it was a smart idea to file a claim. She has a $500 deductible which means the insurance company would pay out $1200. But our client would now have one accident on her record. With 2 accidents on record, most insurance companies have the right to non-renew (or cancel) a policy. With Winter weather just around the corner and accidents more common, not filing a claim was something we had to consider.
Our client then mentioned that she was going to be selling the car to her granddaughter. Well that settled it. She was going to be cancelling the policy anyway! This was now a no-brainer. File the claim. Our client can expect to be refunded $1200 as she would only be responsible for her $500 deductible.
What about the tree?
I called a claim rep at the insurance company and asked about the tree. Could the cost of the tree be covered under the Property Damage coverage? I was told that yes, the tree would be covered under her Property Damage coverage. We had nothing to worry about.
What is Property Damage Coverage?
Property Damage coverage is a coverage on your Auto policy that pays for damage to other people’s property that’s damaged by an accident you cause. Cars, telephone poles, signs, and buildings are the most common.
This coverage could also extend to trees and bushes.
What if the tree had fallen onto the car?
This is an entirely different issue. Your comprehensive coverage would pay for this damage. I have written extensively about trees and comprehensive coverage on this site. Please feel free to view any of those prior posts for more information.
As always, please reach out to me if I can help you with any insurance related question.
My name is Keith Laskey. My goal is to educate the everyday consumer and to help them make intelligent decisions with their insurance policies. Please contact me at my office, 610-948-4830 or Email Me for any insurance related questions or concerns. You can also visit the Ron Black Agency website or like us on Facebook! Thank you for stopping by, have a great day!