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My Tree Fell on My Neighbor’s House

by Keith Brown
November 23, 2009

Not really. But, that is the foundation for this article. What are the implications if my tree falls on my neighbor’s house? There are two aspects to consider here: the law and insurance perspective.

In Texas, insurance companies typically consider falling trees to be an act of god and not a liability to any individual. The bottom line is whom-ever’s stuff gets smashed, they (or their insurance) is responsible for repairing the damage.

There is no written legal law regarding trees. Only legal precedent. The precedent is what I just discussed regarding insurance. The only loophole would be if an arborist inspected the tree, prepared a formal report determining that the tree was unsafe and needed to be removed, and then the insurance company got their hands on that report. I’ve never seen this happen and can’t image how it would ever happen.

If you have a tree on your house, the most important thing is to take pictures, call you insurance company and get the tree removed asap. It’s important to understand the law in these situations, but safety is definitely most important.

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Be sure to post a photo if you want some advice on your tree.

  • Murville Alleman says:

    Great website and blog! Here in South Mississippi we also have large live oaks, but many more per acre; we protect them by city ordinance, as well as magnolia, cypress, sycamore (?) and redcedar (???). It is my job to enforce and interpret that ordinance for our 18,000 residents and assist developers/builders in their compliance. Yes, the mini skid-steer is a very valuable employee; we used one in Charlotte, NC before I took this position and it proved to be instrumental to our bottom line. The right machine is everything, though. We found the Vermeer to be much easier to operate and maintain. Forget the Boxer; too sketchy in operation. The Thomas machine was the beginning of the revolution, but the Vermeer has improved the concept dramatically. Keep up the good work!

  • Diann Poffenberger says:

    Katy area,-Houston
    Six inches of the trunk of my neighbor’s mature Pin Oak tree, obviously planted on his property long before either of us purchased our properties, has grown over into my yard. Who owns the tree when 90% of the trunk is on his property & 5% on mine?