Q: If my neighbor’s tree falls in my yard, will my insurance cover any damage?
I live in a really nice suburban neighborhood, and take great care to keep my yard looking nice. My neighbor, however, is not so conscientious, and one of his trees looks like it might be diseased and could fall over at any time right into my yard. When that day comes, will my homeowners insurance cover the damage? Or will his?
A: The sad truth is, if the tree simply falls into your yard, no insurance is going to cover that. You will need to handle the clean-up costs on your own. You can ask your neighbor for assistance with the costs, but they are not obligated to help out in any way.
As with all things, of course, there are some exceptions:
1. If the tree falls onto your house or causes other property damage, such as to a detached garage or fencing, your home insurance is likely to cover the cost of repairs.
2. If your neighbor was aware that the tree presented a hazard but did nothing about it, you have the option to sue for any costs you incur.
It's likely that if your home insurance does cover resultant property damage even though your neighbor is deemed liable, your insurance company will then subrogate against your neighbor’s insurance provider, meaning they will try to collect from that company some, or all, of the expenses they paid out. This is something you will not need to concern yourself with, however.