Who Is Responsible When A Tree Falls

Dated: 06/11/2013

Views: 1011

Due to recent tragic events with tornados in Oklahoma and given that we receive our fair share of tornados in the Atlanta area as well, the topic of who is responsible when a tree falls has become once again relevant. This blog post was contributed by Gillen Joachim, partner with Neel & Robinson and reposted with prior permission. Be informed and protect your home in Marietta, Kennesaw, Roswell or wherever it may be! -Terence

Trees and tree limbs can fall due to a tornado, hurricane, or just old age and bad health. 
Homeowner's insurance policies may cover some damage and tree removal, but there are certain questions that will be asked to determine which homeowner (and which insurance company) is responsible. 
Live, health trees - Each homeowner is responsible for his/her own damage and cleanup, regardless of where the tree trunk is. No one can predict or prevent a tornado or hurricane. This is a "damage" claim, so the deductible would apply first. 
Old, dying, diseased trees - Each homeowner should regularly trim or remove the portion of the tree on his/her property AND should notify the neighbor in writing if an unsafe tree is a potential danger to neighboring properties. 
Neighbors do not have the right to go onto other neighbors' property without permission, even to trim or remove a dangerous tree. 
However, giving notice of the unsafe condition will help recover insurance proceeds, possibly even from the neighbors' insurance company. This is a "liability" claim, so there is no deductible. 
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Terence Richardson

Founder/CEO of Terence Richardson Real Estate Group, powered by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Sandy Springs, GA. ....

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