If a deseased, or dead, or otherwise sickly, neglected tree falls over your fence onto neighbor’s property then the neighbors insurer will pay somewhat up to $500 once I pay my deductible. So alright, if it’s my neighbors fault and I pay out of my pocket money to meet my deductible, then it’s not fair? Right? Oh well, if the fallen tree was neglected by my neighbor, and it damaged my property – garage, roof, driveway, my car, my flowers, my other trees, or my family members were injured – and the tree was alive, yes, I will pay my insurance deductible before my State Farm decides to go ahead and shell out some money to cover the rest of damages. And hey! Sky is NOT the limit here. It depends on my policy terms and stipulations – the coverage, the premiums paid, and the size of my deductible.
With all that said, I might want to take my negligent neighbor to the Small Claims Court and try to sue him for my out-of-pocket expenses for the damages not paid by my insurer adjuster check. The lawsuit will probably ruin my friendly relations with the neighbors, but, at least, I will recoup some of my moneys. And I also will have to pay the tree service company for the neighbor’s tree removal out of the way.
The policy coverage ceiling for this tree removal and hauling job might be between $500 and $1000 bucks, but the tree removal guys will certainly charge me much more for their service, especially when it’s a life-threatening, dangerous, or emergency situation. Who pays the balance? Me. And then I will go ahead and file a lawsuit against my negligent neighbor for not taking a proper care of the uprooted tree and a huge tree-limb that cut through right through my fence or the garage roof.
Now, let’s say the tree was dead from the very beginning – an old dead pine tree, or an oak, or a sweet gum, dead for many years – and suddenly it crashes upon my or my neighbor property, you know, strong high wind, hail, snow, heavy rain, stormy weather – conditions just enough to uproot my deadwood. That’s right – now that the tree is 100% dead, my insurance company has to pay for damages done to my property, or to the neighbors property. Because it’s all my fault now. So I will pay the deductible, then I will receive a check from my insurer which most likely, especially in the case of State Farm policies for homeowners, will not gonna cover all the damages incurred. So I will have to pay cash for the deductible, and then some more. Including my neighbor’s property that I’ll have to pay for the repairs thereof. Well, not good – but it’s because I was negligent and did not maintain my trees properly and in good standing shape, or I failed to remove any dangerous especially dead tree well ahead of the disaster happened.
When a live tree falls down then it is considered a God’s Act. Meaning an Act of God is what you’re not responsible for. It’s God’s Works. You can’t stop the God’s Act, and you cannot prevent it from the happenning – it’s all in God’s hands. However, the insurance company will not pay for all the damages just because the God wanted so. The appraiser will explain you that your coverage is just this much, and your deductible is this much, and the total damage is this much, and that you’ll have to pay for the non-covered balance, and for your neighbor’s damages, too, if they proceed with the lawsuit, or take you to the Small Claims Court. Good luck, then. I think I better remove those hazardous or dead trees, or even trim and limb them now, before the disaster happens, or the lighting strikes my old faithful live oak.