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NOW LIVE: Eyewitness News

When Your Neighbor’s Tree Falls On Your Property

tree damage
feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - It’s an age old philosophical question: if a tree falls in your woods, whose homeowners insurance policy pays. Isn’t that how it goes?

Just in case the funeral itself hadn’t made the mourners think of how fragile life can be, six people attending a funeral in Chicago were injured when a tree fell on them outside the church service. That’s random. But not so unusual.

As hurricane season wears on, you want to know: if your neighbor’s tree topples onto your house or personal property or heaven forbid head, whose insurance pays? The answer is, the neighbor whose property is damaged is the one whose homeowner’s insurance pays. You call your own insurance to pay for your damage, even if it was caused by your neighbor’s tree.

That said, if your neighbor’s tree is overhanging your property but hasn’t caused damage, the law says it is your neighbor’s responsibility to pay to have the tree removed back to the property line, so have it cut back and bill your neighbor. But life’s short: best bet is to talk to your neighbor first to ask him before just taking matters into your own hands.

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