Damage from Trees: Who Bears Responsibility - Keating Agency Insurance

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responsibilityMarch: In like a lion, out like a lamb?

If this first week is any indication, we can expect wild weather swings to continue during the third month of 2019.

That could mean more toppled trees causing power outages and damage to homes, yards, and cars.

So, whose responsibility is it when a fallen tree causes damage?

Responsibility for Tree Damage May be on the Homeowner

Unlike the old question about when a tree falls in a forest, no one must watch a tree fall onto your house, car, or property to know it happened. The only question is whose responsibility it is to cover the damage.

Washington’s Top News reports that most Homeowners Insurance covers the cost of property damage.  So, whether your tree or your neighbor’s tree falls on your house during a storm, your Homeowners Insurance policy generally covers it.  Of course, you are still responsible for the deductible.

However, depending on your policy, the cost of removing the tree from your property may be your responsibility.  This may be especially true if the falling tree doesn’t cause damage to structures on your property.

responsibilityThis is why it’s important for you to review your Homeowners Insurance policy before the next storm.

If a tree falls on your car, your Auto Insurance generally covers the damage under your comprehensive coverage.

The San Francisco Examiner reminds us that in situations where a tree is known to have rot or damage, the insurer may not pay.  If the adjuster determines your tree had known damage before being felled, you may be on the hook for costs.  In the case that a damaged tree belonged to your neighbor, in most cases your insurer will pay your claim.  It then seeks compensation from your neighbor’s insurer.

So, it’s a good idea to regularly check the condition of any trees in your yard.  Try to deal with any loose limbs or rot before it becomes a hazard.

When is the last time you reviewed your Homeowners Insurance policy? The friendly agents at the Keating Agency are happy to sit down with you for an annual review.  In addition to knowing what your policy covers, you can make changes to fit the home and life you have now, not when the policy was written.

Also, we work with more than two dozen companies.  If you don’t like your current policy, we can find the company and policy that is right for youContact us anytime.