You know that expression: “If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, does it still make a sound?” This also applies, sorta kinda, to home insurance. If a tree falls, are you covered? It depends!
The fallen tree basics
The details to keep in mind when sorting this out is understanding the tree details from the point of view of risk. Who is liable, is it an act of nature, was it due to natural disaster, is someone negligent and is there coverage? Tree fall coverage on one policy doesn’t always mean the same thing on another one. Also, risk on one is different on another! You’ll need to know all of the above.
Your tree falls on their property
If your tree unexpectedly topples down onto someone’s property, they are responsible in most cases for cleaning it up on their own dime. This assumes that the tree was healthy and not damaged or rotted out and that there isn’t an act of nature that caused it. If the tree was rotted and has been for years and you had planned to take it down, then it’s possible that you may need to pay for it since it would have been your responsibility to remove it once it became a liability.
Their tree falls on your property
If their tree randomly falls on your property, you can expect the same thing as above, in reverse. You’re most likely responsible for paying for its removal unless it is rotted or otherwise damaged and was supposed to have been removed previously.
Your tree falls on their house
Eek! Never a good scenario (especially if you like your neighbor). Assuming the tree comes down in a storm or just randomly falls down, their insurance policy should cover it. If it comes down on their house because you were attempting to chop it down, or it rotted out, then their policy could very well come after you to pay for the removal and all related repairs.
Their tree falls on your house
Much the same, just the reverse again. In both situations you’ll need to have the insurance agent send someone to take a look at the trees to formally decide who is responsible for paying the cost of removal and repairs.
Trees are a threat to be taken seriously
While trees offer great benefits, especially for that curb appeal or for shading your Texas home, they can bring a lot of risk to various things. You’ll want to know what that risk is and how you can do your part as a responsible homeowner to keep everyone and everything safe, both physically and financially!
If you need more specific advice, try checking in with your local insurance agent! They will be able to walk you through all sorts of potential situations regarding trees and can go through your policy with you. It’ll also be worth noting that if your homeowner’s policy doesn’t cover tree falls for whatever reason, you should definitely have it, especially if you have tons of trees around you, in your yard or your neighbors! Tree falls can add up in cost very, very quickly.
Just like all sorts of things related to personal insurance, you’re going to want to be on the safe side when it comes to having coverage. If this was your wake-up call to get in with your agent and check, great! It’s never too late to check…until it is. So, use this as your opportunity to know exactly where you stand with trees and your property, or your neighbors!
Contact Paula Smith Insurance at (281) 488-8880 today and let’s review your coverage to be sure you are adequately covered and for the best price!