5 On Your Side

Tree damage covered by insurance -- but which one?

Posted April 28, 2011

Tree after tree after tree ripped out of the ground!

Homes, cars and other property, damaged or even destroyed!

Who pays for what?

That's what Keith Walkowiak is wondering!


“We're very blessed and very lucky that we have very minimal damage compared to many other people,” said Walkowiak.


While he's thrilled the massive trees didn't actually damage his house, or harm his family, he isn't so thrilled with how the trees down behind his house could damage his budget!


That's because while insurance covers damage to your home from fallen trees, it only pays to remove those trees that actually hit your house, another structure or those that block a driveway or a wheelchair ramp! And it pays only up to $500!

When trees just fall in your yard, you have to foot the removal bill!

What about trees that fall on or from a neighbor's property? Walkowiak has that situation as well.


The answer is “it depends.”

If a "healthy" tree falls during a storm, whoever has damage, or the tree in their yard, has to pay for it.

That means if your neighbor's tree falls on your house, you and your insurance company pay for damage.


However, if that tree was clearly dead or dying, the owner of the tree is responsible for damage!

That's why it's a good idea to pay attention to the trees around you!

If one in your yard threatens a neighbor, get it down!

If a neighbor's tree threatens your home, let the neighbor know.

If they don't respond, send a certified letter and take pictures!

That way if it falls and does damage, you have proof they knew about i, and can file a claim with their insurance company.


As for cars that were hit by trees or falling debris-- they're covered by your auto insurance, if you have comprehensive coverage!


Walkowiak is relieved he doesn't have to deal with any of that!


“We're safe. Our house is safe. A tree. A yard. We'll take the situation we're in,” he said. 


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  • beachboater Apr 29, 2011

    did you know?????.........If a mobil home is declared a total loss, the insurance company will pay for the covered loss, but WILL NOT PAY for removing the damaged mobil home from the property.

    A little surprising to me. My daughters MH was damaged by the April 15th storm. A cousin wanted to buy it in this case so I was going to try to "work a deal" with the adjuster to save them the cost of moving it out. No deals to make. The MH is still theirs, just will have a salvage title in the future.

  • cbarnett Apr 28, 2011

    What if the naighboring property has no structures, thence, no insurance?

  • SirWired Apr 28, 2011

    There! Are! A! Lot! of! Exclamation! Points! In! This! Story! I! Wonder! Why!

  • baracus Apr 28, 2011

    "What do you do when a landlord is neglecting to take a tree down that is hovering over your home nine days after the storm, and cranes are in the community? I own my home on their rental property."

    Take a picture of the hazard as evidence in case of future court proceedings. Send the landlord a certified, return receipt requested letter with a picture of the tree and your concerns over it falling on your house. Save the receipt and a copy of the letter.

    Unfortunately this won't stop the tree from falling but it will offer you some legal protection and perhaps light a fire under your landlord's but.

  • American56 Apr 28, 2011

    What do you do when a landlord is neglecting to take a tree down that is hovering over your home nine days after the storm, and cranes are in the community? I own my home on their rental property.