Neighbor’s Tree, Your House.

It’s that time of year again here in the Northwest.  The weather is turning and the wipers need replacing.  And, with the last storm system that blew through, a lot more than the leaves are falling.

As I was driving into work I saw several large branches strewn on the roads and in the ditches.  That reminded me that Fall is officially Tree vs House Season.

I’ve handled many hundred insurance claims involving a tree falling from one yard and damaging (sometimes smashing) someone else’s home.  Almost without fail, I hear the same things from the victims.  There is a lot of misunderstanding out there when it comes to “OPP” (Other People’s Property) and home insurance, so I thought I write this little public service message for you.


Things to know when a tree hits your house:

–   You can’t insure OPP.  And your neighbor can’t insure your house.  That means that the only insurance that could cover damages to your house from a fallen tree, no matter where said tree came from, is YOURs.

–   Tree removal has limits. Most insurance policies contain maximum coverage amounts for tree removal, usually $500.  Depending on the size of the tree, you could spend $500 very quickly.  Make sure that whomever you get to remove the tree is aware of the limit.

  • Shift coverage when possible. This means that you likely have coverage under your policy for things like board-up and tarping.  If the same company that removes the tree also places a tarp for weather protection, have them separate their bill for both activities.
  • When in doubt, leave the tree in the yard. Remove the tree from the house to prevent further damage, but leave the rest in the yard instead of racking up removal charges.  You can always come up with a solution down the road.

–   Don’t rush to repair or settle.  The likelihood of hidden damages is high when trees and roofs are involved.  I’ve seen well-built houses stand up to some big trees with little visible damage from the exterior.  That does NOT mean that other things, like earthquake tie-downs and foundations, escaped unscathed.

  • Retain an insurance restoration specialist.  Preferably someone who understands structural damages and has the ability to refer a high quality structural engineer

–   Call for your free consultation.  Claims Delegates is always here to answer the tough questions.  Should I turn in a claim?  Who should I call first?  Who should I trust? Trust the Badge.  888.745.7568