Determining whether all your insurance needs are covered can be confusing at times. One thing we get asked about a lot is liability for fallen tree damage. Who is responsible for a fallen tree? Every year, homeowners have trees that fall in storms. Unfortunately, this often results in damaged property. In the event of a treefall, who is responsible for the damage and removal, and what can insurance do to cover the costs?
Who's Insurance Must Pay for the Fallen Tree?
No matter whose yard the tree was in, if it falls into your yard and damages any property, it is your homeowner policy’s responsibility to cover the loss. Because of the liability clause in any home policy, unless the owner of the property where the tree was knew that the tree was about to fall or that it needed to be taken down, they are not liable for any damage it might have caused your property. Thus, if one of your trees falls into your neighbor’s yard without you having any previous knowledge that it was going to fall, you are not liable for your neighbor’s damages (and vice versa). Think about it this way: the homeowner where the tree was had no control over the damage that the tree caused, so their insurance cannot be responsible either.
The Coverage You Need for Your Yard
Let’s say your neighbor’s tree fell in a windstorm into your yard. You are liable for the damage, but what can you do to fix the problem? Most insurance policies only cover up to $500, $1000, or $1500 dollars for tree removal if the tree did not damage any property. However, if the tree hit your fence, house, or car, these damages will be covered under your home or auto insurance policies.