Have you ever wondered, “Who’s liable if my neighbor’s tree falls on my property?” The answer may surprise you:
If your neighbor’s tree comes down on your house, fence, pool, or even the boat in your driveway, more than likely it will be YOUR insurance that pays!
You might be thinking, “I’ve worked hard to maintain my home! Why do I have to pay for somebody else’s tree? How is that fair?”
If a tree falls down into another’s person’s yard due to natural causes like a storm, the tree owner is not liable. The tree owner is responsible, if he’s been warned to take it down and he didn’t.
If your neighbor’s trees are a threat to your property – if they look weak, rotting, or dying – ask them to take them down. Some signs of a dying tree include:
- Late-blooming or early-dropping leaves
- Cracked or peeling bark
- Dead outer branches
- Any exposure to droughts or extreme weather
You can’t force your neighbor to remove the tree, but if you let them know that you feel your property is in danger and they still don’t remove it, it will be their insurance policy that pays if it does hit your house.
You can take photos of the tree, or even hire a professional to evaluate it (though it will cost you some money), then send your neighbor a certified letter requesting its removal. This gives you evidence to strengthen your claim of negligence so you can file a claim with their insurance company.
Don’t do any removal or repairs without contacting the folks at O’Brien first.
They will send a claims adjuster over to evaluate the damage and guide you through the process (including deductibles and coverage limits). Take photos of the fallen tree before it’s removal.
If there is damage to a structure, debris removal is often also covered, up to policy limits. If not, tree removal may not be covered at all.
Of course, it goes both ways: if your tree – or a branch from that tree – hits your neighbor’s house through no fault of your own, their homeowner’s insurance applies.
Maybe now you’re thinking, “But I love my neighbor, we’ve been best friends for 30 years! I feel responsible!”
What a GOOD neighbor you are!
Be a REALLY good neighbor and keep an eye on your trees, especially the ones near your neighbor’s property. If your trees are a threat to them, take them down now before they come down in a storm. Tree removal prices are lowest before the storm!
Learn what type of coverage and how much coverage your policy provides for damage caused by a fallen tree.
“I would like to tell you about the O’Brien Agency! Recently I had a neighbors tree fall on the back side of my home, first thing I did was call John. Within 5 minutes he was at my home, took pictures and filed claim for me. A couple days later staff followed up with me to make sure everything was going okay with claim. His staff and John are very caring and welcoming! I am very happy I switched to O’Brien Insurance you will be also!”
— Janet Astileanu