Cleaning Up Storm Damage: What If Neighbor's Tree Falls on Your Property?
As the Tulsa area continues to clean up tree limbs and other debris from this week's storm, questions arise about fault. Channel 8 investigated what to do if a neighbor's tree falls onto your property in a storm.
"In the state of Oklahoma, no insurance claim due to storm-related damages affects your insurance," said AAA spokesperson Danial Karnes.
However, Karnes said in this situation, both neighbors should call their separate insurance agencies and file a claim. He said insurance pays for storm damage when weather is the sole cause of the problem.
Nosak Tree Service explained the procedure of tree removal after a storm. It said if a tree is dead or if its owner was negligent towards it, it is up to insurance to determine responsibility. However, it said if a storm knocks one neighbor's tree into another neighbor's home, the original neighbor's insurance company is responsible only up to its property line. Generally, it is up to the insurance of the neighbor whose house was damaged to cover the costs of the removal from their property. That homeowner would pay a deductible.
If a homeowner is uninsured, it is up to him or her to pay for damage and removal.
A renter without rent insurance is still responsible to pay for whatever is damaged inside his or her rented space, even if the building is insured.
"Who knows when this or a tornado's going to come by," said renter Patrick Griffith. Following this week's storms, he is considering buying renter's insurance.
AAA said it is always best to begin with a call to your insurance to discuss the situation.