You would think if your neighbor’s tree falls on your house or property your neighbor would be responsible for the damages and the cost to cut up the tree. One of my clients recently found out the hard way, this is not the case.
John came home from work and discovered his neighbor’s large oak tree had fallen on his house. The large oak tree damaged the roof, siding and two rooms in the house. The repair estimate exceeded $100,000 and John thought his neighbor’s insurance would pay for it. He was wrong.
Fallen Tree Due to an Act of Nature
When a tree falls due to an act of nature you are responsible for any portion of the tree on your property. Your neighbor is responsible for any portion of the tree on his property. There is an exception to this rule and that is negligence. If you know a tree is dead and do not take the necessary steps to prevent it from falling or remove the tree you may be negligent.
Visibly Dead Tree
If your neighbor has a visibly dead tree what can you do? Send a certified letter advising them of your concern and ask them to have the tree inspected or removed. If your neighbor fails to take reasonable or necessary action and the tree falls they may be negligent. If your neighbor is negligent you would be able to collect under the liability portion of your neighbor’s homeowners insurance.
The Andrew Agency
Contact The Andrew Agency at (804) 320-2886 if you live in Virginia, Maryland or South Carolina and have questions about your homeowners insurance, liability coverage or any other type of insurance.