Just about everyone loves trees, and not only do they beautify the landscape, but they are home to birds and insects. However, trees can fall, and often times when they do; it is on the neighbor’s property.
If a tree has damaged your property, the first thing to determine is who does the tree belong to? If the tree’s trunk is on your property, then it is yours. However, if the trunk is on your neighbor’s property, then it is theirs.
Who is Responsible for the Damaged Caused By The Fallen Tree?
In a nutshell, any damage caused to your property by the neighbor’s fallen tree is their responsibility. The same goes for if your tree or any part of it falls on the neighbor’s property and damages it. That is despite it being blown over by strong winds. You will need to file a claim with the neighbor’s insurance company to get reimbursed for the loss.
If your tree falls on the neighbor’s yard, damaging it, they need to file a claim with your insurer.
Generally, in addition, what the neighbor’s insurer pays if you were cutting the tree on your own property, but it accidentally fell on their home, their insurance pays for it. While you could be liable, but if it were proven you were negligent when cutting the tree down, that is if you were doing it yourself. You will also be consequently liable if a branch from the tree fell on the neighbor’s property, causing damage and is proven to be caused by your negligence. For instance, branches from a rotting or dead tree, which you had knowledge were in bad condition.
If a city-owned tree damages your property, you will have to call the municipality ASAP. They will then send someone out to remove the tree and pay for any damages caused if they knew that the tree was unhealthy.
Is Damage To Landscaping Covered?
If your neighbor’s falling tree caused damage to your landscape like other trees and shrubs, but not to the structure, it is your job to get the debris removed on your property. However, the homeowner’s policy may have a limit within which they will replace any damaged plants, but only if the damage was caused by something natural like lightning, windstorms, or someone outside the home like by vandals or a car crashing into the landscape.
If Your Neighbor’s Tree Damages Your Vehicle
If a neighbor’s tree falls on your property, damaging your car, and you have comprehensive auto coverage, then the vehicle’s insurer will pay for it. If you don’t have comprehensive coverage, you will need to prove that the neighbor’s negligence caused the tree to fall.
The same applies if a tree on your property falls on your neighbor’s car.
It is always a good idea to review your homeowner’s insurance policy in situations like these. You will also want to consult with an insurance agent who can answer a few of your questions. That way, if there is a problem, you know what to do.