Who pays if the neighbor's tree falls on my car in a storm?

Your neighbor does not owe for damage to your vehicle unless you can prove he or she was negligent.

Instead, you can make a claim through your auto insurance policy if you have comprehensive (also called other than collision) on the damaged car. The insurance company will assign an adjuster to verify coverage, investigate how the loss happened, assess damages and prepare a settlement offer. Your car could be a total loss if repairs are close to or more than the vehicle's depreciated value. The insurance company is responsible for tax, title and transfer fees up to the value of the totaled car if you get a replacement vehicle within 30 days.

Take these steps if a tree falls on your car:

  1. Report damage to your auto insurance agent or company representative as soon as possible if you have comprehensive coverage;
  2. Take pictures of the damaged vehicle;
  3. Remove the tree limb from you car;
  4. Confirm the comprehensive deductible (your out-of-pocket responsibility);
  5. Participate in the claim procedure.

Parking outside exposes your vehicle to damage from falling tree limbs, vandalism, hail, theft and more. Be aware of the surroundings, add comprehensive coverage to your auto insurance policy and be familiar with your comprehensive deductible.