Monday, October 21, 2013
What happens when a neighbors tree limb or tree falls on my car or on my home? I can help!
What happens when a neighbors tree limb or tree falls on my car or on my home? Well, I have the answer. I get this question all the time from all over Texas so here is how your insurance would apply as well as liability.
If a neighbors tree or tree limb falls on your car, or home, it would be "your" insurance that takes care of the damage, minus your deductible. Even though the limb is from a tree that belongs to your neighbor, and you feel that your neighbor was negligent in some way by not trimming the limb, you would need proof that the neighbor knew the tree was dead or diseased, and proof that you had asked the neighbor to trim the limb on several occasions by copies of certified letters sent to them and/or photos of the tree/limb. This will not guarantee that your neighbors insurance company would pay for the damages to your auto or home, nor would it guarantee that a court would find your neighbor negligent, but it would be the only course of action you could attempt to get your damages paid for by our neighbor or your neighbor's insurance short of small claims court.
If the limb falls on your car and causes damages to your car (or your windshield only), your comprehensive (other than collision) would be the coverage on your auto policy that would apply (if you have the coverage). You may want to consider the cost of the repairs compared to your comprehensive deductible because your deductible may be more than the cost of the repairs. If this is the case, you want to reconsider placing a claim to ensure the claim would not affect your rates. If you don't have comprehensive coverage on your policy, the damages would be paid for out of your own pocket.
If your neighbors tree or tree limb falls on your home, your home insurance policy would cover this damage, minus your deductible. You may want to compare your homeowners deductible to an estimate of repairs before you place a claim as the cost of repairs may below your deductible. If you don't need to place a claim, then don't to ensure the claim would not affect your rates. However, as in the example of a tree or tree limb falling on your car, you would need proof that your neighbor knew the tree was dead or diseased and you had copies of certified letters showing you had requested the neighbor to remove the risk to your property. Again, this won't guarantee you coverage by their insurance but would be the only avenue you could take.
Consider asking your neighbor to share the cost of cutting down the limb or even paying for it by yourself. It might be cheaper than an insurance deductible. I have a neighbor who had a pine tree limb hanging over my driveway and he gladly allowed me to pay to have it trimmed.