Your neighbors tree falls on your house, now what?
A common homeowner’s occurrence in North Carolina is damage from fallen trees. When a tree from your neighbor’s property falls on your property which party is responsible? Does your home insurance pay or your neighbors home insurance pay?
Trees can beautify your landscape but also cause a great deal of damage. For the most part, a homeowner is responsible for whatever falls into their own yard. So, if your neighbor’s tree damages your property that is a claim that you would file on your own homeowners policy. The same is true in reverse. If your tree falls on your neighbor’s property, then their insurance would be responsible for the claim.
There are a few exceptions. If the neighbor knowingly allows a dead or rotting tree to remain on their property and does not take the necessary steps to remove the tree, they may be liable for the damage themselves. Properly taking care of trees is important for any property owner. Look for signs of distress such as dead limbs, cracks in the trunk or trees that lean in to a roof or power lines. It is also important to have large trees routinely trimmed.
If a tree does damage your property and you are in dispute regarding the liability, you as the homeowner have an obligation to secure your property to prevent any additional damage to your home or property. It’s always advisable to take photos to document the occurrence as well.