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What happens if my neighbor's tree falls in my yard?



Trees can be tricky, but for the most part, homeowners are responsible for what falls into their own garden. So if a storm causes your neighbor's tree to fall in your garden, your homeowner can insure you to cover the cost of removing the tree and repairing the damage that caused your property after your deductible.

The same applies in reverse: If a tree on your property falls in the neighbor's garden, your neighbor should contact his insurance company to determine the type of coverage for damage or remediation in their garden.

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In most cases, neighbors can practice things without too much hassle. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need to file a home insurance claim. Your homeowners insurance can cover the cost of tree cleaning, depending on your insurance and the company you work with.

Good news: Homeowners insurance from ERIE usually pays for the cost (subject to restrictions) for the removal of fallen trees. if it is due to a covered danger, such as a storm.

If there's ever a problem between neighbors, you can count on your claimant to help straighten everything out.

The Damage Process

If a tree falls on your house, the first thing you should do, if it is safe, is to try to prevent further damage to your home and property. Be sure to take some photos to document what happened. Then call your insurance agent, who can explain your options and help you understand if and how to make a claim. When you make a claim, a claimant will come by to evaluate the damage and explain how your homeowner covers. We recommend that you call your claims adjuster before entering to remove the tree.

Sometimes trees fall on cars. If it is not safe or possible to remove the tree yourself from the car, you should call a professional to remove it. (Again, talk to your insurance agent and a claimant first and take some pictures of the fallen tree on your car.) Depending on the damage and terms of your insurance coverage, the optional comprehensive coverage you may have under your car insurance may cover the loss.

Prevention of tree damage

Preventive measures are important for trees. Start by looking for signs of distress such as dead limbs, cracks in the trunk or larger limbs, leaning to the side and branches near a house or power line. Fungal growth on the roots or bark can also signal problems.

Homeowners should be concerned about the health of their trees. It is possible for you to be held liable for damage to your neighbor's house or property, if your tree (in whole or in part) is due to your own neglect. One of the best things to do is to regularly cut down large trees. (The Tree Care Industry Association lists accredited tree care professionals.)

Learn more about homeowners insurance from ERIE or find an Erie Insurance Agent in your community.

This story was originally published in 2014. It was updated in 2019 with additional information.


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