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Navigating through a fallen tree claim - who pays for it?

SEPTEMBER 10, 2020

When a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, who cares? But when your neighbor’s tree falls on your roof, you will care – and want to know whose homeowner's insurance will pay.

The short answer: make a claim with your own coverage for any tree damage, even if the tree is rooted in your neighbor’s yard.

However, there are many things that neighbors can do to work together to prevent losses from happening. While insurance doesn’t cover for tree removal or maintenance, keeping up with managing large trees yearly can be beneficial in avoiding distressed, damaged, or older trees from causing damage in a windstorm.

  • If you or your neighbor have large trees that extend beyond property boundaries, discuss what options there are. Typically, and property owner has the right to trim or cut branches that extend onto their property. But it is always a good idea to keep in good communication between neighbors.
  • Typically, the person who “owns” the tree (located on their property) is responsible for the maintenance or removal of dead or damaged trees.
  • Most cities have staff that work with trees and can be a resource of what to do with trees that are covering or going over property lines. These experts can help negotiate a tree maintenance plan.
  • If your neighbor has a tree that is dead, damaged or creating a potential large hazard, you should ask them to have the situation remedied. It is good to do this in writing or email, to be able to document your concerns.

In some instances, if a property owner fails to deal with a hazardous tree situation, they could become liable for damages that tree may cause. This is especially the case if notice was given to the homeowner to remedy the tree situation. 

And as you could now see, this situation works both ways! Be sure to take the time to maintain your property’s trees and remove any tree that is dead or creating a hazard.   

If you have question regarding your property insurance and coverage, please make sure to contact your Nodak Insurance Company agent with questions.


Nodak Insurance Company

1101 1st Ave N
Fargo, ND 58102