No one is probably listening when a tree falls in the forest to really know the answer to if you can hear it or not, but when a tree falls on someone’s home, everyone hears it loud and clear. The question is whose homeowners insurance is responsible when a tree in one neighbor’s yard falls on the other neighbor’s house.
First of all, before you get into the legalities of who is responsible and who will have to pick up the tab, there is a sense of goodwill that comes along with something like this happening. You want to maintain some type of decent relationship with your neighbor, so, of course, you will in some way show an effort of intention. For example, if a tree was destroyed in the path, buy and plant a new tree for them. This will go a long way in keeping your neighborly relationship on good terms.
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Is A Tree Falling on My Neighbor’s House Part Of My Coverage?
If your tree falls into your neighbor’s yard causing any type of damage to their property with no fault of yours, whether it be due to some type of ‘act of God’, in most states, you are not going to be responsible. The neighbor is going to need to file a claim with their provider for reimbursement of the damages that their house sustains.
However, if the tree that is on your property or a branch from that tree fell onto their property and caused any type of damages due to your own neglect after the neighbor’s repeated complaints, e.g. a dead branch hanging over on their side of the fence for years and they’ve been reminding you for the entire time, you will be responsible.
Get to Know Your Policy
Knowing your policy limitations is important in this situation in case your neighbor takes you to court for your liability with the damages. You need to know what will be covered by your homeowners insurance as far as what your neighbor may be awarded from the suit.
There are some plans where coverage will not be made available if negligence was found; others are going to cover the claim whether negligence was involved or not. Still, other policies are going to cover damage that is sustained to structures but nothing for the land around the buildings.
A really civil way to handle the whole matter is to get estimates on the cost of repairs or replacement and offer to pay a portion if the damage is not too great. Disputes between neighbors are so common and oftentimes unnecessary when there could be a very easy and sensible resolution that will prevent any kind of bitterness or stress within the community. This kind of cooperation can end up saving everyone unnecessary costs, tons of time, and can help to maintain neighborhood respect.