Without prior experience most people assume that removal of, or damaged caused by a neighbor's tree would be the responsibility of the property owner of the tree.
Property owners are generally responsible for what falls in their yard, so if your neighbor's tree falls in your yard or on your home, your homeowners policy will help pay for the cost to repair damage and remove the tree.
The same holds true if your tree falls into your neighbors yard or onto their home. You’re typically responsible only if neglect was a contributing factor to the tree’s demise.
Keep in mind that your deductible amount will apply prior to the insurance company’s contribution to clean up and repair efforts, and in the case where nothing is damaged you may find your insurance won’t cover the cost of removal of the tree.
Always inspect the trees in your own yard for signs of poor health and disease as well as trees in your neighbors yard that may threaten your home and property. Look for dead limbs, cracks in the trunk or major limbs, leaning toward one side or power lines, and growth of fungus near the base of the tree. If you see something that looks suspicious you can bring this to your neighbor’s attention, effectively putting them on notice, which may help your cause in the case of an unfortunate event.
We had a situation in our neighborhood where a property owner’s tree fell on a neighbors auto in their driveway. In this case the neighbor had comprehensive insurance on the auto which paid for cost to repair the vehicle. However the cost of removing the tree wasn’t covered by their homeowners insurance as the home wasn’t damaged, leaving the cost of removal to come out of pocket.
Policy coverages vary by insurer, contact us for a complimentary review and explanation of your insurance protection.