As a homeowner, you are not typically responsible for damage caused to your neighbor’s home or other insured structures, such as a garage or shed, by a tree on your property. This is because such damage is typically considered to be caused by forces outside of your control, such as weather events. In these cases, your neighbor would typically need to file a claim with their insurer to receive reimbursement for the damage caused by the tree or tree branches.
There is one exception to this rule. If it is determined that the tree damage was caused by your negligence, such as by refusing to cut down dead limbs or attempting to trim the tree yourself, your neighbor’s insurer may pursue you for reimbursement through a process called subrogation. It is important to check your homeowners insurance policy or speak with your insurance agent to determine if your policy covers your liability in cases of negligence.
If your neighbor does decide to bring legal action against you for tree damage, it is important to consider the laws in your municipality. In general, you will not be held responsible unless you knew or should have known about the potential danger posed by the tree. However, proving what you knew or should have known can be difficult and costly in a court of law. It may be in both parties’ best interests to try to reach a compromise rather than going through an expensive legal process.