If a tree falls in the woods, who pays? Sorting out storm damage - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

If a tree falls in the woods, who pays? Sorting out storm damage and insurance money

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SPOKANE, Wash.- If your neighbor's tree hits your house, who pays? That's a question many people in the Inland Northwest are asking after two devastating storms and the answer is: it depends.

Jennifer Nemeth and Patrick Eckel are neighbors and long-time friends. They say they wouldn't trade their neighbors for anything, and that it's important to look out for one another in a neighborhood. So when Jennifer's tree fell into Patrick's garage during the storm on August 2nd, they didn't let it effect their relationship. They both have home insurance, and they are paying for their respective property damage.

Karl Newman, the president of the Northwest Insurance Council, says this outcome is pretty typical. In most cases, you are responsible for your own property damage. If you can prove that your neighbors were negligent, then they will be liable. To prove that, you would most likely need to have it in writing that the tree was dangerous, and that you had asked your neighbor to remove it before.

The best steps you can take before a storm are to talk to your neighbors if you think their property poses a threat, and to get homeowner's insurance.

 

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