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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Help! My Neighbor’s Tree Fell On My House

10/27/2020 (Permalink)

tree fell on house. who's responsible for a fallen tree When a neighbor's tree falls on your house, figuring out who's responsible can be confusing.

It’s unfortunate enough when a tree in your yard falls on your house - but when your neighbor’s tree falls on your house, the situation is a lot more complicated. Who is responsible for the damages? Who files an insurance claim? Who pays for tree removal? Here, we will clarify who is responsible when a neighbor’s tree falls on your house. 

Who’s Responsible For A Fallen Tree?

Scenario 1: Your neighbor's tree falls on your house

Whenever a tree falls on a home - it doesn’t matter where it came from to determine who is responsible for filing an insurance claim or covering for the damages. The only thing that does matter is whose house it landed on and why. So, that means if a tree in your neighbor’s yard falls on your home during a bad storm - you’re responsible for filing an insurance claim. The neighbor’s insurance policy will not cover it. 

Scenario 2: A tree from your property falls on your neighbor's house

In this case, your neighbor would be responsible for filing a claim and cleaning up any debris or damages on their property from your tree. In these cases you can feel ‘lucky’ that you didn’t have to file a claim and that no damage was done to your house. 

Scenario 3: Your tree falls on your home

This may not be as confusing as the other scenarios, but it is worth mentioning that you will be responsible for filing an insurance claim and taking care of any damages. 

Scenario 4: A neighbor's tree damages your house, but you think it was because it was old, damaged, or weak.

Since fallen trees are only covered due to “named perils” such as high winds, lightning strikes, vandalism, or a car crashing into the tree - insurance does not want to cover the damage for a tree that falls due to negligence or lack of preventative maintenance. If your neighbor has a tree in their yard that you think may fall on your home, approach them, point out the issue, and document it. This way, if the dying or weak tree falls on your home, you can argue to your insurance company that you took steps to prevent it and that it should be covered. 

Common Questions:

What if the fallen tree doesn't damage my home?

According to Allstate, if a tree falls on your house and causes no damages, insurance will not cover the cost of removing the tree. In these cases, it may not have been worth it to file a claim anyways, depending on your deductible and the size of the tree. 

What does tree removal usually cost without insurance?

The cost of tree removal is between an average of $500-$1,200, making it less than many homeowner's deductibles. Cost usually depends on the size of the tree and the location of where it fell.

What is the average cost of insurance claims from fallen trees?

According to Consumer Reports, the average amount paid by insurance companies for fallen tree claims was $4,110, and was only 7 percent of all settled claims.

What if a neighbor's tree just falls in my yard, and not on my house?

As mentioned earlier, when a tree falls and causes no damages it will not be covered by your insurance policy. You will be responsible for all debris cleanup and removal yourself.

Need Help With Fallen Tree Damage & Cleanup? Call SERVPRO - 800-734-3213

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