Yesterday on November 15th much of Central Indiana saw an ice storm. Icing of .10 to .25 of an inch was widely seen and our Muncie area experienced significant power outages. Many of these homes won’t be restored until late on November 16th. The ice was certainly bad and damage was increased by this early season storm as many trees still had leaves which increased the weight on the branches and captured even more ice.
Fallen trees, limbs and branches are always a dicey claim situation when it comes to your neighbors and their responsibility. In most cases, your insurance pays for the claim even if the tree resides on your neighbor’s property line. Often times this doesn’t seem accurate and it’s frustrating. If you take a step back and realize that their policy would pay for damage from your tree you quickly realize that it does level the playing field. Keep in mind we are talking about acts of Mother Nature, just as wind and lightning are also outside of our control.
Now there are exceptions to the above. If your neighbor is doing a DIY project to remove a tree and damages your property, it should be their responsibility. If the neighbor’s tree is diseased I always recommend documenting it with a letter to them. It is not a guarantee that it will become their claim but it does help! Certainly, the best time to handle trees and prevent damage in the future isn’t when the ice is coming down. The best recommendation that I can make is to carefully inspect the trees on your property and take necessary action to eliminate potentially dangerous situations.
Lastly, review the coverage in your specific homeowners policy. If we don’t handle that for you, let us take a look and give you a complimentary review.
David George, President