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Whose Homeowner’s Insurance Will Pay if a Tree Hits My House?

Picture of house with a tree fallen on roof

 A beautiful tree canopy might be one of the reasons you purchased a home in the neighborhood you live in.  Managing and taking care of those trees is part of homeownership.  There are a lot of  situations when there was no indication a tree would fall on your property.  Healthy trees frequently get hit by lighting.  Trees with shallow roots often uproot when the group is saturated after a rainstorm.  There are many situations that are simply unforeseen.  What do you do when a tree falls on your property and is it covered by insurance?

Does homeowners insurance cover fallen trees?

Homeowners insurance typically provides coverage for damage to your property resulting from fallen trees, regardless of whether the tree is owned by your neighbor or you. It is important to understand that if a neighbor’s tree causes damage to your property, you are typically responsible for initiating a claim with your own insurance company and paying your deductible.  If you are wondering how the claims process works read 5 Things You Need to Know about the Home Insurance Claim Process.  In some policies there is coverage for removing fallen trees that have not damaged covered property but are blocking a driveway preventing you from driving your car or blocking a handicap ramp.  Consult with your independent insurance agent or reference your home insurance policy to see if your policy covers tree removal.

My neighbor has a dead tree that is in danger of falling on my house.  Whose homeowner’s insurance will be responsible if the tree hits my house?

Your neighbor may not be aware that the tree is dead or diseased and needs to be removed.  Here are some steps you can take to notify and document the situation with your neighbor:

  • Take photos of the tree and provide them to your neighbor. Politely let your neighbor know you are concerned the tree will fall on your property.  Your vantage point is likely different than the one your neighbor has from their property and could provide your neighbor with additional details to help make the decision to remove the tree.
  • You may consider offering to pay half of the tree removal. This is often a way to ensure your property is protected, saving you both time and aggravation.
  • If the neighbor doesn’t take action as a last resort, you may consider writing a letter to your neighbor and sending it certified mail with the photos of the dead tree. By doing this you likely have put the liability back on your neighbor.  If the tree should fall on your property and cause damage you may be successful in having an insurance claim covered by your neighbor’s homeowners insurance rather than yours.

What to do when your neighbor’s tree falls on your house

  • Ensure everyone’s safety: Prioritize safety and seek medical attention if anyone is injured.
  • Assess the damage: Document the extent of the damage by taking photos for insurance purposes.
  • Inform your neighbor: Politely communicate the situation to your neighbor and discuss next steps.
  • Collaborate on removal and repairs: Depending on the circumstances, work together with your neighbor to remove the tree and repair any damage to your home.
  • If you need repairs made to your home or opt to hire someone to remove the tree be sure to read 5 Things You Need to Know Before You Hire a Contractor.

What if you don’t have homeowners insurance?

If you don’t have homeowners insurance, dealing with a fallen tree can be financially challenging. Without insurance coverage, you’ll be responsible for covering the costs of repairing any damage to your home and removing the fallen tree.


Dealing with a neighbor’s fallen tree can be a stressful experience, but knowing how to navigate the situation can help reduce some of the burden. By following the appropriate steps, communicating effectively with your neighbor, and understanding your insurance coverage, you can work towards resolving the issue.

Do you value the advice and personal experience of having an independent agent you can rely on?  O’Connor Insurance Associates is here for you! Call 704-510-8884 or reach out today!

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