There has just been a storm, and a tree fell right on the property line you share with your neighbor. Who pays? That depends on numerous factors. Most homeowners insurance policies will cover hauling away debris if the mess is associated with damage.
What happens first?
The first thing to do is call your insurance provider. The likelihood is they will be able to help you make the right decision without worrying too much about it. In most cases, the insurance provider will pay to restore your property and will then decide whether to get reimbursed by the other side.
Is my neighbor in the wrong?
If a tree on your neighbor's side of your border falls on the property line, they are responsible if you can prove your neighbor was aware the tree was a hazard and refused to fix the problem. If your neighbor was indeed negligent, your insurance provider will look at reimbursement from their side.
What to do if your tree falls
It's always a good idea to regularly maintain your trees, including regular trimming and assessing the health and sturdiness of the foliage. But if the worst were to happen and your tree falls in your neighbor's yard, do nothing until their insurance company contacts you. If you pay someone to maintain your trees, always keep the receipts.
Before the tree falls
If you are worried about a neighbor’s tree that looks like it's seen better days, write a letter to them outlining your concerns. The letter should include a description of the issue, photographs and a request for action. Keep a copy of the letter so that there is a paper trail if the worst were to happen.
If you’re unsure about whether your insurance covers falling foliage, get in touch. We'll be happy to walk you through your policy.