Hurricanes do much more than cause wind damage to a home’s roof or windows. They can also topple trees, which can then cause damage to the structure of a home or leave a mess on your lawn or city street that needs to be cleaned up. But what happens if a tree on a neighbor’s property falls over and damages your house? And what happens if a tree on your property topples, and damages a neighbor’s home? In Florida, where hurricane and wind storms are common, these scenarios can occur.
Whether a neighbor’s tree damages your home or your own tree damages your home, you should always contact your homeowner’s insurance first. Similarly, if a tree on your yard or lawn falls and damages your neighbor’s home, your neighbor should contact his or her homeowner’s insurance to make a claim. Basically, the homeowner with the damaged home should make the claim.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowner’s insurance should pay for damage to your home caused by a toppled tree, regardless of who owned the tree. You may still need to pay your deductible, but if a tree damages your home, whether the damage to the tree was due to winds, lightning, or hail, the property owner that suffered the damage should make the claim. Generally, adjusters won’t try to figure out where a tree branch originated and won’t differentiate between a tree that came from your yard or from a neighbor’s yard. After all, in a hurricane, debris from foliage is quite common and it can often be difficult to know where it came from.
There are some situations where your homeowner’s insurance adjuster might try to make a claim from the neighbor’s insurance. If a neighbor’s tree fell on your house because of poor yard maintenance (for example, the tree was dead and the neighbor didn’t remove it, or the neighbor failed to regularly prune the tree), then your homeowner’s insurance company may negotiate with your neighbor’s insurer for coverage. If it is found that your neighbor was negligent for the fallen tree, your neighbor may also be responsible for paying the deductible for damages. However, in the case of a hurricane, where many trees have fallen, generally, your own homeowner’s insurance will cover damages.
In most cases, it doesn’t matter who owned the tree. However, if a property owner was negligent in pruning a tree, then it might matter who owns the tree and insurance adjusters might make a claim against the responsible homeowner. Basically, where the trunk is growing determines who owns the tree. So, if the tree trunk is on your property, you could be held responsible for unpruned branches that fall on a neighbor’s home. Of course, these situations only apply to negligence—cases where a homeowner’s failure to maintain his or her lawn or trees resulted in damage to a neighbor’s home.
Has a tree damaged your home? Did your neighbor fail to properly prune trees or remove dead branches? Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC are hurricane insurance claims lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida who may be able to assist you with navigating some of the more complicated wind damage claims that homeowners might encounter. Contact our firm today to learn more about your rights and options under the law.
What About Removing Fallen Trees? Will Homeowner’s Insurance Cover That?
If a tree falls on your lawn, but doesn’t damage your home, shed, garage, or other structures, then you may be responsible for paying for the cleanup. However, if the tree caused damage to your home, or to another property, your insurer may include coverage for some of the cost of tree removal. Every insurance policy differs, so you may need to review your policy. Don’t know what your policy covers? Having trouble making a claim for which you believe you should be covered? Reach out to Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC today. Our hurricane insurance claim lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida may be able to help you. Our firm can assist homeowners facing more complicated insurance claim situations.
Need Help Making a Hurricane Claim in Fort Lauderdale, Florida?
Many homeowners are still trying to settle their hurricane Michael claims. Others may have suffered damage from some of Florida’s more recent hurricanes. If you have been experiencing delays, or denied claims, and have questions about your rights, Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC are hurricane insurance claim lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida who may be able to assist you. Our attorneys can review your policy, review your damages, and fight to help you get the settlement you may deserve. USAttorneys.com can connect you with the hurricane claim lawyers at Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC today.