by Treva Cassidy, CISR ACSRC on Aug 28, 2013
If a tree falls and no one is around to hear it...
One of the most commonly asked questions I receive from our customers is "what do I do if a tree hits my...(home, fence, yard, etc)?"
Generally speaking, if a tree or any other object falls and hits your home or detached structure, it is covered subject to your deductible. Always check your policy because you may have a special enhancement that even covers the cleanup if the object does not hit a structure and does not technically damage anything.
I know the next thing you are thinking "but it was my neighbor's tree!" In terms of insurance, nobody owns trees and it does not matter from where the tree fell, your policy pays for the damage. In the event the tree was diseased or fell from other causes, your insurance company may seek reimbursement from your neighbor or his insurance company. If they are able to get reimbursed, you may get your deductible back too.
If you are concerned with a tree that looks like it may be a problem in the future, you could ask your neighbor to trim it or take it down before it becomes a problem. You could ask your town or city to get involved if the tree is on municipal property. If it is not on your property, you should find out what the regulations are for trimming or removing trees that threaten your property.
Check out this great article from the Insurance Information Institute about how coverage applies in most circumstances when any tree hits your property. You can always call us at 978-352-8000 to discuss trees and any other insurance concerns you have.