If a huge oak tree in my yard broke, tipped over and came to rest on my neighbor’s roof, what is my insurer’s obligation to pay for related costs?

UPDATED: Sep 24, 2014

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If a huge oak tree in my yard broke, tipped over and came to rest on my neighbor’s roof, what is my insurer’s obligation to pay for related costs?

It was indenting the roof over his children’s bedroom and would have crushed the house. I got a tree service out quickly and 5 guys worked for 2 days removing the tree; it cost $5000. I filed a homeowner’s claim. The adjuster told me there was $500 available on my policy for tree removal but they would actually pay me nothing because no permanent damage occurred to either house. I threatened to call a lawyer. He called his supervisor and than called back to offer me a check for $500, provided I agreed to contest things no further. I think they should pay me $5000. Do I have a case?

Asked on September 24, 2014 under Insurance Law, Florida


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Sounds lime you have a bad faith insurance claim. File a complaint (it is free) with your state's department of insurance. Review your Ipolicy in detail and highlight those portions that can help you and hurt you so you can be prepared.   Next, as to your neighbor, your neighbor has a duty to mitigate his damages so if that leaned on his property, he should probably give you the name of his homeowner's insurance to file a claim. This is why homeowners can trim trees and pick fruit if it is on their property. 

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