When a neighbor’s tree falls on your roof, you should contact your homeowners’ insurance and encourage your neighbor to call theirs. If you can prove that your neighbor was negligent by ignoring safety hazards, such as a tree showing signs of decay, illness, or infection, they may be held liable for the damage. If not, your insurance company should reimburse you for the cost of roof repairs after paying your deductible. Here are some general steps you can consider taking:
- Document The Damage: Take photos of the damage caused by the fallen tree. This documentation can be useful for insurance claims or any potential legal issues.
- Contact Your Insurance Company: Typically, your homeowner’s insurance may cover the cost of repairs for damage caused by a neighbor’s tree. Contact your insurance company to report the incident and begin the claims process.
- Communicate With Your Neighbor: While not legally required, communicating with your neighbor about the situation is often a good idea. They may not be aware that their tree caused damage, and they may want to resolve the matter amicably.
- Review Local Laws: In Tennessee, laws regarding tree damage can vary. Generally, if the tree was healthy and the incident was due to an act of nature (like a storm), it might be considered an “act of God,” and your insurance would likely handle the damages. If the tree was visibly unhealthy, and the neighbor was aware of the potential risk, they might be liable for negligence.
- Seek Legal Advice: If there are disputes, or if your neighbor refuses to take responsibility for the damage caused by their tree, you may want to consult with a legal professional to understand your rights and options in your area for your specific circumstance.