Can my neighbor “sue” me if on of my large trees falls on his property. I have basic homewoners insurance, but I think he does not carry home insuran?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 23, 2012

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Insurance Question from Cocoa, FL

Asked on 07/23/2012

Can my neighbor “sue” me if on of my large trees falls on his property. I have basic homewoners insurance, but I think he does not carry home insuran? The neighbor referred to above has told me in the past , he does not have homeowners insurance. My home insurance would probably not pay for damage to anyone but my own property..Right? I will agree to get my trees trimmed, but I am NOT willing to remove them. I cannot be held responsible for all the storms/hurricanes we have or may have in Florida..right? its the risk you take to live here. Thanks for any advice you could give me..Diane Johnson

Answer given on July 25, 2012

Your homeowner policy provides coverage for negligence under the liability portion of your policy. This is the portion that will defend you. If a tree on your property falls on a neighbor’s home your insurance company may deny a claim by the neighbor unless there is evidence that the tree was sick or improperly maintained, thus causing the damage. It could be considered an act of nature and that there was no negligence involved by you, the property owner. There needs to be evidence that someone knew the tree was sick or unkept. If your insurance company denies the claim, then the neighbor will have to go through his insurance company to pay for repairs.If your neighbor sues you after your insurance company denies the claim then your insurance company will have to defend you in court. If you are found negligent, then your insurance company will have to pay whatever settlement is given, up to your policy limits.

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