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Friday, 27 December 2013 19:38

My tree fell on my neighbor's home.

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neighbor tree fall house

 

If my tree falls on another person's property, who files an insurance claim?

 

As an adjuster for several years, this is a common question that I received.  There is a lot of confusion about the subject.  Your home and contents are covered by your homeowners insurance if they are damaged by a tree or branch.  The cost to remove the tree or branch is also covered.  Keep in mind that the tree or branch must cause property damage to be covered by the policy.  Broken branches or a falling tree in the yard would not have coverage for the removal. 

 

Most homeowners tend to think that since the tree was located on their property, they are responsible for any damage that it causes.  In most cases, the property owner where the tree was located is NOT responsible for any damaged caused from either the broken branches or the entire tree falling over onto another property. 

 

 

There are scenarios where the tree owner could be considered negligent and would be responsible for damage.  Insurance Commissioner John Doak's office stated "if your neighbor knew that their tree was a safety concern and nothing was done, your neighbor could be considered negligent. This could be true if the tree was in poor health or not properly maintained. The policyholder’s insurance company may try to collect from the neighbor’s insurance company in a process known as subrogation. If the insurer is successful, you may be reimbursed for the deductible."  If you have a neighbor with  a tree in this condition, we recommend documenting every discussion you have had with the owner.  Be sure to send notices in writing and take pictures. Maintain a paper trail in case damage does occur to your home.  This will help you prove that the tree owner was negligent and possibly subrogate against the neighbor's insurance carrier. 

 

If your home has sustained damage, contact Home Claim Solutions anytime at 918-949-9077.  We can assist you with the tree removal and repairs.  

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