Who pays for storm damage from a neighbor's downed tree? - FOX 13 News

Who pays for storm damage from a neighbor's downed tree?

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CLEARWATER (FOX 13) -

Many wind-blown next-door neighbors are asking themselves a question this week: whose insurance company pays up when my tree hits your home?

Does the tree owner? Or does the homeowner whose house was damaged?

We reached out to the Insurance Information Institute to provide some truly evergreen answers.

The III said that no matter whether it's just a limb that lands in a neighbor's yard or the whole tree that crosses the property line and collides with the house next door, the damaged property's insurance pays for repairs. Put another way, the 'victim' must file the claim with their own agent.

Liability is another issue altogether and separate from homeowner's insurance coverage. Those disputes are a matter for the courts—not your insurance broker.

As for trees that teeter and totter and threaten to topple, the III said you are on your own if you want to proactively prevent an accident that's waiting to happen.

Bluntly, III said this: "insurance covers damage, not threat of damage."

That leaning oak isn't your insurance carrier's problem until it triggers a loss.

Insurance is a gamble and underwriters are betting you'll be pragmatic. You'll take the steps necessary to stop that tree from falling victim to gravity.

And you'll do it at no cost to them.

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