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Foley Palenscar Schortmann Blog

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Insurance

Damage Caused by Falling Trees or Limbs

After heavy snow or high winds, we receive calls about tress or limbs falling from a neighbor's property onto our insured's property.  Here is some helpful info about this scenario:

- Your policy will pay to repair damage to a structure such as a house, garage, shed or fence.  The policy will also likely pay for removal of that part of the tree which lies on top of the house, garage, shed or fence but not the entire tree.

- Your neighbor's policy will likely not pay unless it can be proven the neighbor was negligent.  In other words, unless you have documented the tree was in poor condition and needed pruning or removal prior to the damage occurring, the neighbor's policy will not pay for the damage.

- In most cases coverage is provided only if a fallen tree or limbs damage a structure (cleanup and removal).  A tree that falls on the lawn is considered landscaping or normal maintenance.

- It is your responsibility (as the insured) to prevent future damage.  So if a tree falls on your house and punctures the roof, it is your responsibility to have the tree removed and the roof covered as soon as possible to prevent snow or rain from causing water damage.  In this case, the company will reimburse for these expenses.

- To prevent damage, we recommend having a licensed and insured arborist or landscaper inspect trees for trimming, thinning or removal every 2-3 years.  Any limbs overhanging a structure should be trimmed back.