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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Neighbor's Tree Fell On My House in Richardson, TX - Who Pays for the Damage?

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

fallen tree damaging house If your house has been damaged by a falling tree, call the experienced professionals at our SERVPRO location, serving the Fort Worth area.

The addition of a couple of trees can enhance the natural beauty of any property, and offer a refreshing respite from the hot Texas sun. With roots that go deep into the soil to support its towering heights, it takes quite a bit of force to uproot a tree - either it’s removed by a person using equipment or severe storms break its stronghold. 

A professional arborist will pay careful attention during landscape planning to ensure that trees are planted in spots that aren’t likely to land on people or property. However, prevention can only go so far, and storms are indiscriminate. It’s rare for trees to fall on property, so when it does happen it often comes as a shock. 

A tree falling in the front yard or even your car is inconvenient enough, but when it slices through your roof it’s an alarming situation. 

In this case, an expensive repair is literally hanging over your head. In most instances, a good homeowners insurance policy will cover storm damage to your home. 

But what if the tree that caused this timber intrusion wasn’t yours? Who’s in charge of handling the damages? The neighbor's tree fell on my house, so aren’t they responsible?

It’s reasonable to assume that you won’t have to pay for the damages because the destruction wasn’t due to your own negligence. So do you call your insurance company or call the neighbor to file a claim on theirs?

At SERVPRO of Richardson, we’ve seen our fair share of storm damage and we’re your tree damage restoration experts. When sunny skies are overtaken by wind gusts or the occasional tornado, we cross our fingers that the damage will be minimal. But if the worst does happen, we’re here to help with useful guides or to assist you by phone 24/7. 

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Tree Removal After a Storm?

Like any kind of insurance policy, the coverage provided depends on your policy. You may be responsible for a deductible. Typically, “act of God” events are covered by insurance. This means that the damage is not anyone’s fault and beyond human control. This applies to natural disaster scenarios.

Tree removal is more likely to be covered by the policy if it causes property damage. Examples of property damage are a tree crashing on your roof, car, or fence.

It’s wise to reach out to your homeowner’s insurance providers and ensure you have sufficient coverage for significant storm damage.

Who is Responsible if a Tree from My Neighbor’s Property Damages My House?

“My neighbor's tree fell on my house or property, so who pays?” 

We sincerely hope you never have to ask this question. But, if you find yourself in this situation, unless it was due to someone’s negligence, the responsibility is in your hands. You pay the deductible or anything not covered with insurance. So with that settled, you’ll want to get in touch with your insurance company and start a claim.

In some cases, your neighbor might be responsible, but those situations are rare. You’d have to prove that the neighbor was negligent and didn’t take reasonable steps to remedy a faulty tree issue. To do this, you’d need documentation to support your claim that you identified a problem, notified the neighbor, and they did nothing to fix the issue. Keep in mind that this potentially leads to a time-consuming dispute.

Let’s say the tree didn’t fall because of a storm but because of a human error. For example, the neighbor got out the chainsaw and started removing a tree near the property line. If the tree fell on your property because of human actions, then the other party is responsible. 

Here’s What to Do if a Tree Falls On Your House

When a storm rolls through the city and knocks a tree over onto your house, it’s important to get to the safest place possible. 

If it’s safe to leave the home (meaning no active tornado warnings or dangerous winds) this is your best option. Richardson storm safety should be your top priority. If at any point you are in imminent danger while the storm is underway, call 911 for rescue.

The alternative is to stay on the side of the house opposite from where the tree fell. This is where you should remain while you wait out the storm or when staying elsewhere isn’t an option. A tree crashing onto the house may stir curiosity, but it’s best to steer clear of the impact site. The ceiling or other debris could fall through and injure someone.

Again, stay where it’s safe. Consider booking a hotel. Once you are safe and settled, call your insurance company. 

Next, call our Fort Worth area SERVPRO so we can send out our Richardson storm damage restoration technicians. We are faster to any size disaster! 

Reach Out to SERVPRO Richardson for Tree Removal and Storm Damage Restoration

Your local SERVPRO has extensive experience in Richardson building reconstruction for residential and commercial properties. 

After we complete an initial damage assessment, we board and tarp your home to keep it safe and secure while tree removal and storm restoration is in progress.

SERVPRO of Richardson stays in contact with your insurance company so the process is as smooth as can be. 

When severe storms bring tree damage to your house, please be safe. Don’t attempt to remove the tree or clean it up yourself. Take pictures and video with caution, then leave it to the professionals to take care of the damage. 

Storms can strike at any hour, so we’re here to answer the call 24/7 at (972) 843-7879. Call us or fill out our quick and easy contact form anytime!

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