We get the question all the time of, "What should I do if a tree from my neighbor's property falls on my property?" There is a misconception in the general public that if your neighbor's tree fall on your property then their insurance policy must cover it. That is not necessarily the case. While blown over or falling dead trees are a common covered loss on most homeowners insurance policies, insurance companies rarely look at who technically owns the tree. This is because it is hard to hold a person accountable to which way the wind blows. However, below we will talk about some things you can do when you notice a tree that has the potential to fall from your neighbor's property and could cause damage to yours.
Trees can cause major damage regardless if it hits your home, lands on your fence, or simply in your yard. Falling trees can also be expensive to professionally cut up, clean up, and haul off. This is why it is good for homeowners to be aware of potentially dangerous trees on or around their property regardless if the tree is on their property or a neighbor's.
It's obvious that if you notice a tree on your property that has the potential to fall and cause damage that it should be address as soon as possible. The average tree removal service in my agency's area of Peachtree City, Ga. can range from $150 to beyond $2000 depending on the size of the tree and scope of work. However if you notice a tree on your neighbor's property that has the potential to fall or be blown down, here are some steps you can take as a concerned homeowner (please note that this does NOT mean that your neighbor's company will assume liability but it will help make a stronger case at the time of loss):
1 - Work with your neighbor to have the tree removed professionally. This means informing the neighbor of the risk of the tree and having them see about having it removed by a local or trusted company.
2 - Take photos of the tree of concern and surrounding area and keep for your records. By taking photos showing the tree was dead or dying, you can present these to your insurance company if the tree falls on your property.
3 - Submit in writing to your neighbor that you have potential concerns about the tree in question for documentation purposes.
By taking these 3 steps it will help strengthen your case for having your neighbor's insurance company to pay for the loss. Again as I mentioned earlier, this won't guarantee their company assumes
liability but it could be worth it to avoid increases in your home rates for the loss.
If you have any concerns or questions about this type of loss, always reach out to your local agent or your insurance carrier. They can discuss your specific policy coverage and what will best protect you and your family. If you don't have a local agent, please feel free to call us at the Deberry Agency. We would welcome the opportunity to work with you and ensure your insurance needs are covered.