In Tennessee, Who's Responsible If a Neighbor's Tree Lands on My Home?January 13, 2022
A tree doesn't have to be on your own property to end up causing damage to your home one day. So what happens if a neighbor's tree lands on your house? Who's responsible and who pays?
Fortunately a Tennessee independent insurance agent can help you get protected against falling trees and much more with the right homeowners insurance. But first, here's a closer examination of who'd be responsible in this specific scenario.
Who's Responsible If a Neighbor's Tree Falls onto My Tennessee Home?
The answer to who's responsible for the damage would depend on why the tree fell. In this situation, it'd likely be considered the fault of one of two culprits:
- Your neighbor: If your neighbor neglected to fulfill his duties as a homeowner and didn't remove a dead, leaning, or rotted tree and it fell on your home, they'd most likely be held responsible.
- Mother Nature: If your neighbor's tree fell due to a lightning strike, strong winds, snowstorm, or other covered natural disaster, technically the fault would be on Mother Nature herself.
Regardless of who could be blamed for the tree falling on your home, fortunately this incident and many others can be covered through standard Tennessee homeowners insurance.
Whose Coverage Would Pay for the Damage?
According to insurance expert Paul Martin, you'd most often go through your own Tennessee homeowners insurance to cover the damage to your home. However, if you decided to sue your neighbor because you suspected negligence on their part, their homeowners insurance would protect them from lawsuit expenses through its liability coverage. But for repairs to your home's structure or personal property, you'd file a claim through your own policy.
What If the Neighbor Was Trimming the Tree When It Fell on My Home?
If your neighbor was trimming the tree when it fell on your home, it would probably be pretty obvious to the insurance company that it was your neighbor's fault. But your home insurance policy would still cover the damage to your home and belongings, and your neighbor's probably would, too. If the tree caused extensive damage and you sued your neighbor for it, their home insurance's liability coverage would also still protect them.
How Would Tennessee Homeowners Insurance Protect Me in This Case?
Your Tennessee homeowners insurance would protect you from a neighbor's tree falling on your home in multiple ways, including through its:
- Dwelling coverage: The dwelling coverage section of your Tennessee home insurance would reimburse you for damage from the tree to your home's structure, after you paid your deductible.
- Contents coverage: The contents coverage section of your home insurance would reimburse you for damage to your personal property, like furniture stored in and around your home, after you paid your deductible.
- Additional living expenses: If the neighbor's tree caused such extensive damage to your home that you had to live elsewhere while waiting for repairs to be done, this coverage would reimburse you for extra costs like hotel rooms, takeout meals, etc.
A Tennessee independent insurance agent can further explain how homeowners insurance can protect you from fallen trees and many other disasters.
What's Not Covered by My Tennessee Homeowners Insurance?
Though your Tennessee homeowners insurance covers unexpected fallen trees from your neighbors and much more, it also has several exclusions. Here are just a few of the most common.
Tennessee homeowners insurance does not cover the following:
- Intentional harm or malicious acts
- Flood damage from natural disasters
- Basic upkeep and routine maintenance
- Earthquake damage
- Liabilities and other business-related losses
- War and nuclear damage
How Would This Incident Affect My Tennessee Home Insurance Rates?
It's unlikely that your Tennessee home insurance rates would increase after a neighbor's tree fell on your house. Home insurance rates don't typically rise for one isolated incident caused by someone else. However, if you started to file this type of claim often, your home insurance company could either neglect to renew your coverage or hike your rates.
Am I Responsible for Paying Anything out of My Own Pocket?
Before receiving reimbursement for damage to your home through your Tennessee homeowners insurance, you'd have to pay your deductible out of your own pocket. Then your home insurance should kick in to cover the rest of the damage up to its limits in each category, which in the dwelling coverage section could be up to the value of your house minus depreciation, depending on your policy. Ask your Tennessee independent insurance agent to help you review your coverage to be sure.
Why Choose a Tennessee Independent Insurance Agent?
It’s simple. Tennessee independent insurance agents simplify the process by shopping and comparing insurance quotes for you. Not only that, but they’ll also cut the jargon and clarify the fine print so you know exactly what you’re getting.
Tennessee independent insurance agents also have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best home insurance coverage, accessibility, and competitive pricing while working for you.
Author | Chris Lacagnina
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