Who Is Liable if a Neighbor’s Dead Tree Fell on Your Property?

When a dead tree falls on your property, you likely will clean it up and deal with any damage on your own. But, what if it is not your tree? What if, instead, it is your neighbor’s tree that fell? Perhaps he or she did not take care of it. In that situation, you may be wondering what to do about the damage to your property. Your home or car could have been struck. Your fence may be flat. What insurance is going to pay for this? Who is liable?

Was Negligence a Factor?

In most situations, your insurance policy will provide coverage for this type of incident for the damage to your property. However, if you can prove your neighbor was negligent in caring for the dead or dying tree, it could easily become their insurance company’s problem. Homeowners are responsible for acting reasonably in caring for their trees and other property.

What to Do

If a tree falls on your property, it is a good idea to call your insurance company to discuss the options. In fact, your insurance provider may handle any negligent claims on your behalf (so they do not have to pay for the costs in the long term.) However, if you believe your neighbors were in fact negligent in caring for their property, you may want to file a policy report about the incident right away. This works as a form of documentation to back up your claims.

Keep in mind that if a tree falls on your house or other property and it was an act of nature, there’s simply no control over this. Your insurance company, though, will likely provide coverage for damage as well as cleanup costs related to the incident.

Dealing with Your Neighbor’s Insurance

If there is a claim of negligence, you may need to file the claim with your neighbor’s insurance company. If this is the case, be sure to include all losses including costs related to repairs, cleanup and replacement of any lost valuables. If there is any dispute in the situation, you may have to go to court over the matter. However, in most cases, this is not necessary.

Liability in a dead tree falling on your property is likely a simple claim to file with your insurance company. If you are working with an independent agent, he or she will help you to file the claim or give you advice on making a claim with your neighbor’s insurance if necessary.

2 thoughts on “Who Is Liable if a Neighbor’s Dead Tree Fell on Your Property?

  1. So We just had a large tree fall against our apartment. It landed on both of our cars. They both have damage, and I’m pretty sure one of them is totaled. We called maintenance, but they said we have to call our insurance. But we don’t have any besides liability (we could barely afford the used cars and the required insurance, and we drive very carefully to avoid accidents that we would be responsible for… We currently don’t have our renters insurance either, I let the payments lapse too long).

    Is there any way we can get compensated for this? We currently rent from a nationally managed rental property but the tree was growing out of the neighbor’s yard (I’m not sure if it is an apartment or a duplex, but it is directly south of us). If it matters, the tree appears to be completely dead (some internet searches seemed to indicate that it should have been cut down).

    Aside from or cars the apartment, garage, and fence were also damaged. Any suggestions?

  2. My neighbors dead large pine tree fell on my property damaging my chain link fence. Whose insurance is responsible for all damages? My insurance tells me they can collect my deductible from her insurance. Is this the route I should follow?

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