What To Do If A Neighbor's Tree Falls On Your House
If a neighbor's tree fell on your house, you're likely unsure of which homeowner is responsible for filing an insurance claim or who will have to pay for the damages. There's a lot of mystery surrounding fallen trees and insurance claims - but we will clear up any confusion here.
Fallen Trees: Who Covers The Damages?
Scenario 1: Neighbor's tree (or your own) falls on your house
If a tree that falls on your home was on your neighbor's property, it is still up to you to file a claim with your insurance company. Unfortunately, it doesn't matter where the tree came from to decide who covers the cost of tree removal and any structural damage repairs - only where it fell and why.
Scenario 2: Your tree falls on your neighbor's house
If a tree on your property falls on to your neighbors home, you can consider yourself 'lucky' because it will be up to your neighbor's homeowner insurance to cover the damages.
Scenario 3: A neighbor's tree damages your house, but you suspect it was because it was old, damaged, or weak.
In these cases, insurance does not want to cover any damages or tree removal because there was a form of negligence or a maintenance related issue. If you feel like your neighbor has a tree that is putting your home in danger, take steps to try and get them to remove the tree and document it. Then, in case the dying tree does fall on your home, you can try and argue to have it covered by insurance due to your neighbors negligence.
Unfortunately, fallen trees are commonly only covered when caused by a 'named peril', such as high winds, lightning, vandalism, or a car crash.
What if the tree doesn't damage your 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 (and in these cases it may not be worth it to file the claim anyways depending on your deductible).
What does tree removal cost without insurance?
The cost of tree removal is on average $500-$1,200, making it less than many homeowner's deductibles. If the tree that fell (and didn't damage your home) was your neighbors, you can always try and seek reimbursement afterwards, though this may sour your neighborly relationship.
How much do fallen tree claims usually cost?
According to Consumer Reports, the average amount paid by insurance companies for fallen tree claims was $4,110, only 7 percent of all settled claims.
What if a neighbor's tree falls in my yard, not even on my house?
As mentioned earlier, when a tree falls and causes no damages it will not be covered by your homeowner's policy. You will be responsible for all debris cleanup and removal yourself.