Love Thy Neighbor But Beware of Their Trees

Fallen TreeI’m not sure what the weather has been like in your area over the last couple of days but in Northwest Ohio it has been crazy windy.  Since becoming a claims adjuster, I think in a completely different way when it comes to the weather.  All I think about are the weather-related claims that will be rolling in. 

When we have heavy winds, the amount of downed tree claims greatly increases, as you can imagine.  Worst case scenario is a tree blowing over onto a house or car and causing some major damage.  Some serious questions arise with this type of loss.  If the tree that fell is on your neighbor’s property, then whose insurance provides coverage?  Let me explain how this works.

If the tree is on your property and it falls and causes damage to your tangible property, this is clearly covered with your insurance carrier.  But what if a tree on your neighbor’s property falls and damages your fence or garage?  Again, your insurance is going to be responsible for the coverage for that loss.  I understand it’s not your tree, but the tree fell due to an Act of God so your neighbor isn’t liable.  How were they supposed to know the tree was going to fall?

The only way your insurance carrier would not be responsible for the damage caused by a neighbor’s tree falling on your property would be if the tree that fell was dead or showing signs of being ill.  In this case, your neighbor would need to submit the claim to their insurance carrier for coverage.  The same coverage rules apply if the tree is on your property and falls onto a neighboring property.

If I can make a recommendation, it’s to notify your neighbor if there is a tree that looks dead on their property.  I would probably take photos of the tree as well, just in case a situation does arise involving the tree in question.  Your neighbor should probably take as much interest in getting the dead tree taken care of as you, because if that tree were to damage their property and they knew it was dead, chances are coverage won’t apply.

I hope this information is helpful for you.  When your angry neighbor calls you because your tree just landed in their pool, you can politely explain how the coverage applies and that he needs to contact his insurance carrier.  It’s a good feeling when you are in the know.  Have you run into this situation before?  Let me know how it turned out.

2 Comments on “Love Thy Neighbor But Beware of Their Trees

  1. To CJ Coleman: I am saving your claims safety tips to be included in our newsletter for IAIP ( International Assoc. for Insurance Professionals) formerly NAIW. National Assoc. of Insurance Women. I am liking the Central Newsletter. Have a great Holiday Week. Connie Rose

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  2. I am glad that you find the articles informative. Let me know if there is a subject that you get questions on or would like to hear about and ill see about incorporating it into the blog. You have a great Holiday week as well.

    Like

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