A Tree Fell on My House, What Now?
When an 80-foot, 20,000 pound tree comes crashing down on your house, it may seem like Armageddon. Once you pull yourself together and see what has happened, there will likely be more questions and the stress of what to do next to properly and quickly resolve the situation.
Trees fall all the time. However, when one lands on a house, immediate action must be taken to prevent further damage.
The fasttreeremovalatlanta.com emergency experts lay out exactly how to handle a tree falling on your home, and answers pertinent questions that you may not have considered.
What To Do When A Tree Falls on Your House
There is no time to waste when your home has been struck by a fallen tree. Your immediate response should include the following:
1 – Evacuate the structure! Ensure that all family members, occupants, visitors, and pets are accounted for and safe. When damages are extreme, or there is flooding, consider moving them to another location until repairs can be made.
2 – Call 9-1-1, to report the incident if the tree:
• Caused any injuries or fatalities
• Interfered with power lines or utilities before falling on your home, or
• Is a threat to pedestrians or traffic
Inform the emergency operator of the situation and follow any instructions they may have.
3 – Document everything that is taking place and take pictures of all affected areas. This will help when filing your claim.
4 – Contact your homeowner’s insurance company and follow their instructions (delaying this call may void your policy).
5 – Contact a 24-hour emergency tree removal company to remove the damaged or fallen tree, and inspect other trees on the property that pose a potential threat.
6 – Contact a 24-hour roofing company to inspect, tarp, and repair damages to your roof.
7 – Contact a 24-hour plumber to stop any visible leaks and examine the rest of the plumbing system for any collateral damages.
8 – Turn off the power if detect that water is coming through the roof or from broken pipes. The combination of water and electricity is extremely dangerous and a recipe for electrocution.
9 – Contact a 24-hour emergency water removal company if water is flooding your home due to a storm or broken pipe, to stop the water from causing structural damages or initiating a secondary problem with mold.
What You Need To Know If A Tree Falls on Your House
The House – When a tree falls on a house, there will be apparent damages to the area in which it fell. However, this type of impact to a structure may result in hidden structural, electrical, and plumbing issues throughout the house.
The Tree – If the tree was uprooted during a storm, be aware that trees within close proximity may also be in danger of falling. Trees growing close together will often rely on each other’s roots to help anchor themselves.
Also, during severe and prolonged weather events, the soil may become oversaturated and destabilize the roots of other nearby trees; thus, leaving them vulnerable to strong winds or falling by their own weight days after the end of the storm.
Watch this video to see how trees can be affected by a severe weather event.
The Insurance Company – In the event your insurance company expresses they will not cover the costs of the tree removal, roof damage, and home repairs, you are not necessarily going to be left holding the bill.
Insurance policy’s can be complex and confusing, but if you meet your deductible and have not used the total coverage limits of your policy, your insurance provider may be liable to pay for damages.
When needing an advocate throughout this process, the insurance public adjusters can help you file, fight, and receive the full benefits of your insurance policy.
People Also Ask – Frequent and Important Questions
Q: Is a tree falling covered by homeowners insurance?
A1: Yes. If the tree fell on an insured structure or came down in a way that obstructs access to it (walkways, driveways, or doorways).
A2: Not likely. If the tree that fell was neglected, or did not fall on or block your structure, your claim may be refused.
Q: What happens when a neighbor’s tree falls on your house?
A: If your neighbor’s tree falls on your house, the basic rule is that the insurance policy of the damaged property pays for the losses.
Or, if your tree falls on your neighbor’s house, your neighbor’s homeowner’s insurance will cover the damages to your neighbor’s house.
For what to do when a tree falls on a car, see fasttreeremovalatlanta.com/tree-falls-on-car-who-is-responsible
Q: Is a fence covered by homeowner’s insurance?
A: Homeowner’s insurance policies will typically cover a fence, shed or a detached garage if it’s damaged by a covered peril on your property, such as a fallen tree.
Q: What happens if my neighbor’s tree falls in my yard?
A: In most cases, each property owner is responsible for filing a claim for what falls into their yard, onto a fence or other structure in the yard.
Q: What does it mean when you have a $1000 deductible?
A: A deductible is an amount you pay out-of-pocket to the insurance when there is an accident involving property you have insured.
Let’s say the total cost to fix your roof is $3,000 and your deductible is $1,000 (this is what you pay). Only after you have satisfied the deductible, will your insurance carrier then cover the remaining $2,000 of the repair costs.
Emergency Tree Removal, Insurance, and Repairs
Ultimately, knowing how to react and what to do when a tree falls on your home will help you minimize stress and get your property and life back to normal as quickly as possible.
Once a tree falls on your home, time is of the essence. Get your loved ones to safety, call 9-1-1, follow their instructions, then contact your insurance carrier, an emergency tree removal company, a roofing company that can inspect the home’s structure for hidden damages, and a plumber to ensure that the jolt hasn’t caused any pipe ruptures or hidden leaks.
Stalling or delaying to take action when a tree falls on your home can void your homeowner’s insurance policy, exacerbate the damages to your home, and lead to expensive out-of-pocket repairs.