A Large Oak Tree Falls On And Into A Small House During A Storm Demolishing Its Roof

Fallen Tree? Who is Responsible and Why

The answer is, it just depends.

Many factors come into play when a tree falls and causes damage to your or your neighbor’s car or home.

Some of those factors are:

  • The health of the tree
  • The reason the tree fell (weather, someone tried to cut/pull it themselves, etc.)
  • Whether the tree falls on your car or home
  • If there is any property damage at all

What does the health of the tree have to do with anything? If your neighbor’s tree fell and caused damage to your property and it was perfectly healthy, then your property insurance is responsible for it.

If the tree was decayed, already leaning/in bad shape, then the neighbor’s insurance would cover because they have “neglected” the tree which in turn allowed it to fall.

Say that it didn’t matter the health of the tree but your neighbor wanted to cut down their own tree to save some cash. If that tree falls and damages your property, then it is their liability. That is why it’s always best to hire a professional.

If your car is damaged by a neighbor’s fallen tree (given no negligence is proven on their part), then your comprehensive coverage takes over. That’s why it is so important not to waive comprehensive coverage unless your car is of less value than what it would cost to fix it.

If no damage was caused by a fallen tree then insurance may not even come into play. Most policies do not cover debris removal with property damage.

However, there are always caveats.

If a neighbor’s limbs or roots protrude into your property and later cause damage, it could be your responsibility. How? “Contributory negligence,” says that you had the right to exercise self-help by removing the protruding limb or root in the first place.

If you have any questions about your home or auto policy, or maybe about a recently fallen tree yourself, give us a call!

 

 

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