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: Oct 20, 2011

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Insurance Question from Shelby Township, MI

Asked on 10/20/2011

My tree fell into my neighbors yard .I’ve offered to remove it myself, he says I’m not liscensed/insured to remove it.Is it even my responsibility? Tree fell into neighbors yard in a windstorm. Offered to remove tree with help of my father who has experience with cutting trees. We were to cut up the tree into pieces, and put the pieces on our side of the fence. Neighbor now says that we're not licensed/insured and if we were injured we could sue. I think he's being difficult because his riding mower was crushed by the fallen tree and our homeowners isn't covering replacement of his mower. Am I even responsible for the removal of the tree, or is it his responsibility now that it's in his yard?

Answer given on October 21, 2011

Tree falling in a wind storm is consider an Act of God by the homeowner’s policy.  You are not liable for this unless the tree was dead and sick and you did not show due care in getting rid of it. That is why your homeowners is not paying for his mower. You are not responsible for the removal of the tree but it was might neighborly of you to offer to help. You neighbors homeowners policy probably has some tree removal coverage up to a certain amount. He could also find coverage for replacement of the mower under his policy.  Feel good about offering but at this point, there is nothing else you can do.      


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