Falling Trees...Whose Responsibility Is It?
At Rand Insurance, we are often asked about trees falling on property and who is responsible for cleanup and repairs. We hope the information below is useful to you. Of course, if you have any questions, call Rand!
Does your homeowners insurance cover damage to your home from falling trees?
That depends on the circumstances, whose tree and what kind of damage. But in many cases, your homeowner’s insurance does automatically provide coverage to your home from trees, branches, and limbs.
Does your homeowners insurance covers damage to your other structures?
Homeowners insurance pays for any damage to your belongings, home, or other structure on your property (garage, deck, shed, swing set, fence, etc.). It also covers costs for the tree removal and clean up. You just need to pay your deductible.
What happens if a tree falls in your yard, but there is no damage to your home or other structures?
If there is no damage to your house, other structures, or belongings, insurance may cover some of the costs for the removal or clean up. Damage to your lawn, trees, bushes, or shrubs is not covered. Many times, the removal or cleanup will cost less than your deductible – however, you may want to talk with your account manager at Rand – they will advise you of the pros and cons of filing a claim.
Your neighbor's tree falls on your house or other structure
Your homeowners insurance covers your repairs subject to your deductible so you'd have to file a claim. But, if it's clearly a dead or rotting tree, you could argue that your neighbor was negligent and should have removed it.
It would help your case if you previously asked your neighbor, in writing, to remove it or you have a letter from a certified professional saying it needs to be removed. Talk with your account manager at Rand, if you have any questions.
If your neighbor is deemed negligent, the claim would be filed through their insurance carrier. Without having previously notifying your neighbor in writing, negligence can be very difficult to prove.
What if your tree falls on a neighbor's house or other structure?
Your neighbor would file a claim through their insurance carrier. But, if your neighbor can prove you were negligent (If they had put you on notice by writing you a letter) by not removing it, the claim would be submitted to your insurance carrier. Even if there was no damage to the house or other structures, they could put in a claim if it simply blocked their driveway or there was other damage.
Their insurance should still offer some coverage even if your tree didn't actually hit anything and is simply blocking their driveway or a ramp leading up to their house.
What if a tree falls on your car?
Your car insurance pays for damage if you have comprehensive coverage which is optional and pays for events out of your control, such as falling trees, hail, vandalism, etc.
Ask your Rand Insurance account manager if you aren’t sure about your auto coverage.