Who’s Responsible When a Tree Falls?

If a Tree Falls in Your Yard, Who’s Liable?

Trees make great landscape elements that imbue properties with class and raise their value. The only problem is they don’t last forever. Whether they come down because of storms, car wrecks or pest infestations, seemingly invulnerable trees have a way of tumbling spectacularly. If you’re like most property owners, it can be very difficult to know how to respond to such events. Here are a few tips from the liability insurance experts at Walterry Insurance Brokers on what to expect.


Property Lines and Personal Responsibility


Trees that topple before their time often cross property lines, but things aren’t as simple as blaming the original owner. If a tree is damaged in an unavoidable natural disaster, such as high-wind storm damage, most courts might decide the owner is not liable for the the damage caused by the fall of the tree or the costs associated with removing the tree. If you’re on the receiving end of such an event, and there is damage to your property, then getting in touch with your insurance company is the answer.  However, if there Is no property damage, then most likely it will be your expense to have the tree removed, not the so-called owner of the tree.


What about when trees fall because people didn’t take care of them properly?


If you can establish that your neighbor acted negligently by not caring for sickly trees or severely rotted trees, your chances in the recovery of expense is greatly increased.  But you need to do your research and provide strong evidence supporting your case. Usually written documentation to the owner of such tree that the tree was diseased or rotted will support your claim of negligence Although the legal burden of proof has a very high bar

Each jurisdiction also has unique laws governing the calculation of contributory fault and negligence. Since court judgments can vary, contacting your insurance agent is the soundest option


How Can Walterry Insurance Brokers Help?


Walterry Insurance Brokers can provide you with the insurance policies to protect your property from tree falls.  Ask us to review your policies or call us for a quote. Furthermore, we can make sure your policies include liability insurance in case you are taken to court over a fallen tree claim.

The whole point of having insurance coverage is to keep you from paying out-of-pocket when a catastrophic loss occurs. If there are trees on your property, then you should be certain you maintain them by trimming those trees that are close to your home or parking areas.  Know that you cannot insure every loss, and trees that fall creating no property damage, cannot be insured.  This is an expense you will have to incur, just like those expenses you incur to maintain your property