A tree has fallen and caused damage to your home. Who is responsible for covering the damage from the fallen tree? To answer this question, we must first consider a few different variables. Where did the tree or limb come from and why? Can we clearly identify who is at fault?
What Coverage applies?
Limbs can travel great distances when being blown by catastrophic winds. It would be practically impossible to determine where the limb came from in this situation. If the damage is determined to be storm related, then your personal homeowner’s insurance will pay. Most homeowner’s insurance policies include coverage for trees and landscaping. They also include coverage for the debris removal. Your homeowner’s policy will also pay to repair the damaged property, subject to the limits in your policy. Most homeowner’s policies include $500 per tree and $1,000 per occurrence for debris removal. For debris removal to apply the tree must have caused damage to a covered structure, be blocking access to a driveway or be blocking access to a ramp designed for handicap purposes. The limit for damage to the structure will be different per policy.
Who is at fault?
In some cases, you can directly pinpoint a tree as having fallen from your neighbor’s yard. Unfortunately, your insurance company will most likely be responsible for the expenses even though it is your neighbor’s tree. Especially if the tree is living and well taken care of. If you can reasonably see that the tree is dead, meaning your neighbor should have taken care to remove it, then your insurance company may be able to recover their expenses and your deductible from your neighbor’s insurance company. We have also seen a company issue a small “good will” payment to help with expenses when a living and well-tended tree fell onto a neighbor’s property by no fault of the insured. This is neither a required nor a standard practice, but it was much appreciated in this circumstance.
It is important to make sure you are taking care of trees on your property to prevent any questions or concerns. You can also go to your neighbor and request that they take care of any trees on their property that need to come down. Many times, people are simply unaware. You can search online for tree care experts in Paducah, Kentucky in order to have the most accurate and up to date information on tree care practices.
If you have more questions about your coverage, then contact us using the form below! You can also learn more about homeowner’s insurance here.