It’s a dark and stormy night, the wind is blowing and suddenly something lands on your roof.  When you go out to survey the damage it turns out that a tree limb that belongs to your neighbors’ tree has landed on your roof and caused damage.  Who is going to have to pay for this?  The person who owns the tree or the person whose roof was damaged by the limb? 

There are various factors that insurance adjusters must consider when deciding how the claim is to be paid and each case merits its own research and fact finding.  An important factor would be, is the tree healthy?  If an owner is negligent and does not maintain the tree and it falls onto the neighboring dwelling the owner of the unhealthy tree could be found at fault.  If the tree was healthy and weather played an important role, then it might fall onto the neighbor whose property was damaged as anything on his side of his fence is his responsibility to maintain. 

I get many questions pertaining to the right of someone trimming vegetation that is growing on their side of the fence.  If there is a chance for a tree limb or other object that is hanging over your fence line that belongs to a neighbor, the first course of action would be to discuss the hazard with the neighbor and see if an agreement can be reached on how to resolve the issue. Hopefully this will get the outcome both sides can live with. Your property line is not only on the ground but continues vertically and it is the owner’s responsibility and right to make sure that his property remains clear of hazards.

If you have any questions or want more details, contact the Luci Temple Agency at 512-913-9637 or LTemple@FarmersAgent.com!

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