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Your Neighbor's Trees and Your Insurance - Food for Thought

Trees can beautify your property and value to your home. But what about your neighbor's tree? Most neighborhoods do not have restrictions on tree maintenance and care, so you could be responsible for your neighbor's negligence if you do not take precautionary steps. Let's take a look at a common scenario:

Your neighbor has a big oak tree that casts a shadow over your property line. A strong storm comes through your neighborhood and the tree falls on your property. The tree falls on your home causing damage to the roof.

Will your neighbor's home owner's policy cover the damage? Probably not. You'll be left with the cleanup unless you do the following beforehand.

  1. Inspect the trees within reach of your property.
  2. If any tree look as if it is diseased, dying, or could potentially damage your home, notify your neighbor in writing (preferably with a certified letter) about the hazardous condition of the tree.
  3. Keep a copy of the letter along with the delivery confirmation from the Post Office

Your neighbor may be willing cut down the tree, or at least share the cost in removing the tree. If damage does occur, report the loss to your insurance agent and let them know that you warned your neighbor beforehand.

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