Whether due to a strong gust of wind, a flood or plain poor maintenance, your neighbour’s maple came crashing down on your yard—and your house—unannounced. What should you do? Will your homeowners insurance cover the damage to your Edmonton house? And, for that matter, will your premiums go up? Read on for answers to these questions and others.
Eligible for compensation, but…
The good news is that damage to your home and surrounding property (e.g. your shed and/or fencing) caused by a windstorm or other weather event is likely covered by your Edmonton homeowners insurance policy. The bad news: your policy doesn’t care whose tree was involved, so you’ll typically be considered responsible—even if the offending plant was clearly on your neighbour’s property to begin with. This means that while your insurer (not your neighbour’s) will pay for the damages incurred, making the claim could have an impact on your premium. However, if neglect on your neighbour’s part (i.e. the tree was unhealthy or damaged to begin with) was a contributing factor, he or she may be found responsible instead.
Tips for filing your claim
- Before attempting to remove the tree or otherwise disrupt the scene of the incident, take as many photos as you need to properly document the situation.
- Then, call your insurance broker who can put you in contact with an adjuster. A claims adjuster will normally come out to assess the situation and evaluate if and how your policy will offer compensation.
- Always wait until the claims adjuster has visited before arranging to have the tree removed or beginning any repair work on your house.
Debris without damage
If your neighbour’s tree (or branches from it) falls on your property without causing any damage, you’re responsible for removing the debris. And if your tree falls on your neighbour’s property without causing any damage, we suggest you lend a hand in the removal—it’s what good Edmonton neighbours do!
If you suspect one of your neighbour’s trees poses a threat
Better safe than sorry, as they say—especially considering that MBS Insurance Brokers Ltd. can secure you a better deal on your homeowners insurance in Edmonton if you remain claim-free for three years. Should a tree on your neighbour’s property seem ill, damaged or otherwise precarious to you, inform your neighbour of your apprehensions. If he or she does not respond, take photos and send a certified letter (backed by the opinion of an arborist, if possible) reiterating your concerns. This way, if ever damages do occur because of the tree in question, it’ll be easier for you to argue that your neighbour was aware of the situation before it escalated.
At MBS Insurance Brokers Ltd., we can guide you through the process of filing a house insurance claim for your home in Edmonton. During regular business hours, contact our office directly; if you need assistance outside office hours, refer to our list of emergency numbers for fast, personalized support at any time of the day or night.