Who is responsible when a tree falls on your property in Queensland?
Insurance, there’s always fine print that nobody reads, it’ll get you. We pay so much money every year for various types of insurance but the smallest discrepancy on our behalf and you probably won’t get a chance to say goodbye before they hang up.
The definition of insurance is:
- an arrangement by which a company or the state undertakes to provide a guarantee of compensation for specified loss, damage, illness, or death in return for payment of a specified premium.
“many new borrowers take out insurance against unemployment or sickness”
- a thing providing protection against a possible eventuality.
“jackets were hung on the back of their chairs, insurance against an encounter with air-conditioning”
“Provide a guarantee of compensation for specified…” “possible eventuality”, there are multiple ways these statements can be read. When it comes to a tree falling over in a storm, there is a lot more involved when it concerns your insurance policy regarding damages. It’s worth going over your policy.
With the passing of Tropical Cyclone Oma, insurance companies must be receiving hundreds of calls regarding fallen tree claims.
If a tree has fallen onto my neighbour’s house, am I liable or my insurer?
Your insurance company must consider a number of factors prior to making payments, such as:
- Is the tree near a boundary
- Is the tree in a dangerous condition
- Is the tree type known to drop branches
- Is the tree health
Ever heard the term “Act of God”. If a healthy tree has fallen over and caused damage to your house, provided you have home and contents insurance, you’re in luck. There is no liability and you will be covered, however, if the tree is “unhealthy” or a species renowned to drop branches, regardless of your insurance type and status, you’ll be covering the cost.
If the tree is near a boundary and you were aware of how unsafe it is, you’re liable. In the Gold Coast and Brisbane regions, Gum Trees are known for dropping massive trunks. If your property has Gum Trees, it would be worth having an arborist check your trees on a regular basis. They can inform you of any unhealthy trees within your vicinity. Contact us today to contact a tree inspection.
How about property damage? If a tree falls from your yard and damages your neighbours’ fence, you are liable for 50% of the fence repair, and your neighbour is liable for the other 50%. If the tree damages your neighbours home, your home and contents insurance will cover repair costs. Home and contents insurance will cover you for legal liability up to $20 million, including death, injury, or property damage from a third party.
A tree has fallen over and hit my parked car on the street, who is liable?
Provided you have comprehensive car insurance, your car will be repaired but you are liable for the cost to remove the tree. If however, you are parked illegally there will be a few more hoops to jump through which may result in an unpayable claim.
Don’t leave it to chance, act now.
Read your insurance documents, get your trees inspected or removed, and have a chat with your neighbour. You might have home and contents insurance but do they? You don’t want to be paying upfront costs or forever chasing somebody for damages to your home or property.
Contact Professional Tree Works for any arborist work on the Gold Coast for a free quote or assessment. Remember, being proactive won’t just save your property, it may save someone’s life.