A peaceful afternoon gets disrupted by a loud crash as your neighbor’s tree smacks down onto your property – it’s a situation no one wants to find themselves in. With years of experience handling various property damage claims, we understand how stressful it can be when unexpected incidents occur. So, you might be asking, what happens if my neighbor’s tree falls on my property?
Stay informed and equipped with the essential information provided here and take the necessary steps with confidence.
Property Insurance and Tree Damage – Two Scenarios
We understand that this situation can be incredibly stressful. However, we aim to alleviate some of your worries by providing clarity on how insurance works and its potential assistance in such circumstances.
There are two scenarios in which you may find damage occurring to your home or structures on your property from a fallen tree. You may be wondering; who is responsible when a tree falls? It depends on the two factors below.
- An ‘act of nature’: such as wind or lightning causes a healthy tree to fall.
If that healthy tree falls on your house because of a storm and causes damage, YOUR (not our neighbor’s) homeowner’s insurance would react and pay for damage, regardless of who the tree belongs to. After all, no one is responsible for a thunderstorm or wind knocking down a healthy tree.
- An unhealthy tree falls because it is dying. For an unhealthy tree, we need to confirm two points.
- Whose property the tree is growing on.
- Is the tree owner aware of the unhealthy state of the tree? Is there any evidence that measures were taken to inform the owner about the trees deteriorating or deceased condition?
Avoiding a Neighbor Dispute
In Maryland, if tree roots or branches threaten your property, you have the right to take action to protect yourself. We suggest writing a letter to your neighbor by US mail with a certified signed receipt if they have a tree that is deteriorating, dying or threatening damage to your home.
It’s also a good idea to send a copy of your letter to your insurance company. You can find our key points below:
- Show Respect in Addressing Your Neighbor
- Give Your Address
- Clearly State the Issue at Hand
- Explain Your Concern
- Emphasize Neighbor’s Responsibility
- Request a Professional Tree Inspection
- Convey a Sense of Urgency
- Express Gratitude for their Attention and Cooperation
Best case scenario – your neighbor agrees and gets the tree inspected for damage by an arborist; you could even request to be present and ask questions. If your neighbor ignores you, a record of this communication will be helpful if you need to deal with your homeowner’s insurance later. In the event, the tree owner was aware the tree was damaged or in a deteriorating state and neglected to take appropriate action, they assume liability for any property damage resulting from the tree’s collapse.
To obtain a sample letter, please reach out to our team.
Gerety Insurance: Your Trusted, Local Insurance Brokers
If you are worried about a neighbor’s tree damaging your property and need more information on insurance options, we are here to help. At Gerety, we are trusted, local insurance brokers dedicated to protecting what matters most to you – your life, loved ones, and business.
Unlike other insurance companies that leave you to navigate the complexities alone, we prioritize building lifelong partnerships with our clients. When you work with us, you’ll always have a live person ready to answer your call and provide the personalized attention you deserve.
Proactive partners who go beyond coverage – we ensure you have the right coverage year after year. So, why settle for impersonal service when you can have a trusted, local broker by your side? Take the next step and request a quote today. Let us be your partner in protecting what matters most.