Know Who is Responsible for Tree Damage to a Property Caused by a Storm
When a tree falls on your property and causes damage due to a storm, it can be extremely unsettling – but the good news is that as long as you have insurance on your property, you should be able to handle the repair of the damage with ease.
The problem with these scenarios when it isn’t a tree on your own property, however, is that it can cause disputes about who’s responsible for paying for the damages – especially when high deductibles come into the picture. Despite what you might think, just because a tree that damaged your property isn’t your own doesn’t mean you’re not liable to go through your own insurance. Keep reading to learn who is liable for tree damage after a storm.
Acts of Nature and Insurance
When deciding who is liable for tree damage after a storm and what route to take and if your insurance will cover it, will be based on how and why the tree fell. When a tree falls into a neighbor’s property, that neighbor should immediately submit a claim through their insurance. Typically the insurance company will cover it if it was an act of nature. However, there are some cases in that a homeowner can be held liable such as the neighbor chopping the tree down or pushing it down onto your property. Typically when a tree falls from natural causes like storm damage, insurance covers the expenses listed in your insurance plan since that was an act of nature and no one is at fault for the damage.
When a Homeowner is Held Liable For Tree Damage
In some cases, a homeowner might be held liable for a fallen tree. If the tree was in bad condition, such as disease or dying, unstable due to trimming or losing branches and the owner knew about these conditions, they might be liable for all or part of the damage if it were to fall on its own or if a light storm that might otherwise not topple a tree does knock it over. As soon as a property owner learns a tree is in danger of falling over, he or she has a responsibility to remove or trim the tree to prevent damage.
Commercial Properties vs City Landscaping
When it comes to commercial prosperities one of the bigger questions we get asked is who is responsible when it comes to damage, especially from trees and more so after a storm. Typically the owner of the building is responsible for damage that occurs on the property. So if you’re leasing the building then you’ll want to contact your landlord to have the damage resolved. They will likely have insurance coverage on the building to handle these issues. It is advisable though to have insurance on your property within the building to ensure that this property is covered (this is similar to renters insurance on an apartment).
When city landscaping is the reason for the damage things get a bit gray. The law states that landscaped and open space areas in the public right-of-way are considered to be part of the city maintenance. If the landscaping in question came from these public right-of-way areas then the city should be held liable. So the first thing you would need to do is take a look at your property lines to confirm that the trees in question came from outside your property line and are on the public right-of-way areas. Should you find that the trees did come from these areas then you’ll need to contact your local county for repairs. We suggest having a quote on hand first so you are prepared from when they come out to inspect, read our blog on why this is a good idea. Here at Classic Construction, we can assist you with creating that quote, so be sure to contact us next.
Though unsettling and problematic to have a storm cause damage to your property, companies like Classic Construction & Restoration have just the right tools, connections, and recognition to appropriately keep you prepared to handle any unfortunate situations that cause damage to your commercial or residential property. Contact us any time for a free estimate on your storm damage. On Time. On Budget. That’s Classic.