What to do if we have property damage from a water tank rolling into our yard that owners insurance company refuses to cover?

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What to do if we have property damage from a water tank rolling into our yard that owners insurance company refuses to cover?

The tank, approx 16 feet tall and 25 foot diameter weighing approx 11,000 pounds, was uprooted by a wind and rolled into our yard, totaling a cabover camper, damaging our garage, totaling a pull camper, tearing up trees and yard, damaging a cargo trailer. 2 weeks prior to that incident the other tank in the same location was uprooted and blown off the hill. The owner of the tanks did nothing to try to secure either tank to prevent them from moving even though it would have been an easy fix. He did nothing to help us and offered no help in clean up or repair of any of the damage.

Asked on March 1, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Montana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) Double check your policy(ies)--if you think the insurer should have paid under the terms of the policy, you might consider bringing a legal action to force it to honor its policy obligations. You do not need to take its determination as the last word.

2) If the tank owner was negligent, or unreasonably careless, he may be liable for the damage his tanks did. People can be held financially responsible when their carelessness damages another's property. If another tank in the same location blew away and the owner did not do anything to secure the other tank(s), that could easly be negligence, since  a reasonable person in that situation would have taken some measures to prevent a recurrence of the problem. If he won't voluntarily pay, you'd have to sue him for the money, but if you could establish his negligence, you'd seem to have a reasonable chance to collect.


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