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Home Insurance Video Series: Am I Covered With Insurance If My Neighbor's Tree Falls On My House?

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Crackman, Rich Comeras, as a public service, shares common questions that homeowners have regarding a wide range of homeowner insurance coverages. Today he is joined by his friend, Peter Marshall, from Marshall Insurance where they discuss: AM I COVERED WITH INSURANCE IF MY NEIGHBOR’S TREE FALLS ON MY HOUSE?

Rich: Hi, I’m Rich from A1 Foundation Crack Repair, also known as the Crackman. I’m here with Peter Marshall from Marshall Insurance. And we’ve had a few jobs that we’re of interest through the insurance situation, where a neighbor’s tree had fallen on the subject property and has damaged the foundation. Peter, could you give us an idea if it’s covered, not covered, and how much?

Peter: Absolutely. So, the neighbor’s tree falling on your house, it’s covered under your policy.

Rich: That’s good.

Peter: Subject to your deductible. However, your neighbor’s tree, if you’re afraid that that tree, if you think it poses a threat to your house, if you think that it’s dying, or it’s diseased, or the branches are hanging over your house, you can actually go through your neighbor’s insurance company if a claim occurs, in that way you don’t get to claim on your record and you don’t have to pay your deductible. The key what you have to do is, I’ll actually tell you the story, because when you’ve been doing this as long as I have, you’re getting a lot of stories over the years. In the late 90s, I took on a new client, and she expressed to me. She said her neighbor’s tree is really growing more and more over their house, and she was concerned that with snow, or windstorm, that the branches, or the tree itself may come right into her home. And she asked me, “Would that be covered under my insurance or theirs? Shouldn’t it be theirs?” So what I had told her at the time was, if you can prove that you notified your neighbor that their tree poses a threat to your property, sent a certified letter. If down the road that tree does damage your property, you now have proof that you notified your neighbor. And if they don’t repair -- I mean if they don’t remove the tree, they neglected to rectify the situation, when that tree falls it’s now going to go under the liability part of their homeowners. So it keeps it off of your claim record, you don’t have to pay anything towards it. So, 10 years later in 2008 when we had that big ice storm, she called me around 7 o’clock in the morning. That tree fell into her house, into her bedroom where she and her husband were sleeping. Thankfully they were fine, and she, obviously saw it coming 10 years prior. And my first question, because I remembered our conversation, I said, “Joanne, did you send that letter? Do you have the proof?”, and she did. So sure enough, her adjuster for her company, I spoke with him. The two of us then went after the neighbor’s insurance company, and they paid every penny, nothing out of pocket for my customer, and she remains claims-free to this day.

Rich: What a great story. So, if you’re afraid your neighbor’s tree is going to fall on your house, do a certified letter to them, let them know that you’re concerned about it. And if it does happen, the good news is you don’t have to pay anything. This is Rich from A1 Foundation Crack Repair, known as the Crackman, and Peter Marshall from Marshall Insurance. Thanks for listening.

If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation repair and waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email rich at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com. Thanks for watching and keep that basement dry.


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