Trees and large limbs can fall on a neighbors house due to a variety of circumstances, the vast majority of which involve wind. But trees and limbs can also cause damage if they fall due to ice, heavy wet snow, poor maintenance, extremely wet ground conditions or even disease. Trees have even fallen on homes when they were being cut down, either by an amateur or a professional.
Most underestimate the weight of a fallen tree or even large limbs. They can cause severe damage, serious injury and even death. So if a neighbor’s tree falls on your house and causes damage, who is responsible?
Trees Fallen by High Winds
If a neighbors tree falls on your home due to the high winds of a storm like a thunderstorm, hurricane or tornado, your insurance company is responsible for the damage. You should contact them to file a claim. This is what is generally referred to as “an act of God”.
Trees Known to Be Unhealthy
Homeowners’ have a responsibility to keep their property in safe repair. This includes their trees. If a neighbor has a tree on their property that is known to be unhealthy, they have a responsibility to manage it properly. If that tree should fall by light winds or in a storm that could be considered mild, they could be held responsible. You should still file a claim with your insurance company and let them proceed from there.
Trees Intentionally Cut Down
What happens when a neighbor is having a tree cut down and it accidentally falls on your home? This will depend on who is cutting down the tree. If it is being cut professionally, the tree removal company would likely be held responsible. On the other hand, if an inexperienced neighbor is cutting down a tree on his own or trimming large limbs that damage your home, he will be held responsible.
In any of the above situations, it is always best to notify your insurance company of any damage to your home and how it occurred. If you were not responsible, it will not likely result in any major increase to your homeowners’ insurance rates.
Cutting down a large tree on your own, in your own yard, is seldom a good idea. Keeping your homeowners’ insurance up-to-date, however, is always a good one. When you contact one of our independent insurance professionals, they can review your present policy and make you aware of any gaps in coverage. You can then decide whether your coverage is sufficient or not. If you decide to make changes, they can get quotes from multiple companies, where again, the choice is yours. Contact us today to get your free homeowners’ insurance review and quote.