Who Pays When A Tree Falls In A Storm?

During the often intense storm season we get in South-East Queensland it is quite common for trees to come down. While the immediate concern is the safety of everyone around the tree, when it comes time to deal with the fallout the situation can become even more stressful. Eventually the tree needs to be removed and the damage it caused paid for but who actually pays for this?

The most common questions that pop up during this time is whether your insurance covers the damage caused by the tree and its subsequent removal and what happens when your tree falls into the neighbour’s yard. The answer to both of these questions will depend on your insurance policy. Depending on what your coverage provides there may be stipulations as to what can be claimed and what can’t.

Insurance Claims For A Fallen Tree

Sometimes being able to make a successful insurance claim depends on whether the tree caused damage to your home and contents. Standard policies will typically not cover the trees on your property but just the home and what’s inside. If the tree falls during a storm and damages your home you will typically be covered for both the damage and the removal of the tree.

For car insurance, most comprehensive policies will cover the damage caused by a tree falling. If you are parked on a public roadway the removal of the tree will be the responsibility of the local council. If the car is on your property and a tree falls onto it, the car will still be covered but the removal of the tree will be at your expense.

storm tree insurance

Who Pays When The Tree Falls In Your Neighbour’s Yard?

While this can certainly be an awkward situation it can only get worse when it comes to working out who is liable for the damage caused by the tree that was in your yard. At the end of the day it all comes down to what condition the tree was in before it fell. This is because the law in regards to neighbours rights and responsibilities is generally covered by the tort of nuisance or negligence.

If the tree in question was in poor condition, presenting a risk before it came down, then you will likely be liable for the damage. Understanding what species are known to drop branches is also important for avoiding liability. This is why we recommend having a qualified, experienced arborist come to inspect your trees before storm season. People understand that trees come down during storms but are often reluctant to have them inspected before the season hits.

If the tree is learning, on the boundary line and is a species known to drop branches then you are going to be liable for the damage it caused. In this case you would need to have a Home and Contents insurance policy that covers “legal liability”. This is when your provider sets a limit for damages caused by an accident that results in harm to a third property. If the tree is healthy then you are likely safe due to it being called an “act of God”.

Storm Season & Fallen Trees – Prevention Is The Best Cure

If you are concerned about the health of your trees then it is incredibly important that you have them inspected by a professional arborist. Not only will you know if the tree needs to be removed before it causes damage but you will also gain valuable insights into what other trees on your property pose a threat either due to health or the risk of falling branches.

Checking your insurance policy and having a discussion with your provider is also a great idea, particularly before storm season. Make sure you are covered where it counts and take the time to get into specifics about your concerns to make sure you get the coverage you need. If you have any questions regarding what information you should be getting from your insurance provider, get in touch with us.

storm tree insurance

Need Help With Your Insurance Claim For A Fallen Tree?

If your insurance policy does cover a fallen tree, whether it be due to weather or other causes, making sure your paperwork is in proper order is key to making sure your claim is successful. Due to our extensive experience we understand the ins and outs of making claims and can help you understand what the paperwork is asking for and provide any information that might be needed to make the process as smooth as possible.

If you are experiencing trouble after submitting the claim we are also able to liaise directly with the insurance company in order to make sure every box is ticked and they are satisfied with the information you have submitted to them. This not only makes sure the claim goes through but that you are also covered for all of the damage caused by the fallen tree.

storm tree insurance

Don’t Risk Liability – Have Your Trees Inspected By A Professional Arborist

We cannot emphasise the importance of taking preventative steps when it comes to the health of the trees on your property. Large trees can cause devastating damage when they fall and making sure they are healthy and pose no risk is not only prudent from a financial sense but also a matter of responsibility for your own safety and others.

If you have concerns about a tree on your property or would like to arrange an inspection by a qualified professional arborist give O’Brien’s Tree Care a call on 0431 740 088 to arrange a time that suits you. If you would like to get in touch with us via email you can head on over to our contact page to fill in our online form.