Did Samwise Gamgee Mean to rob Frodo and Leave Him for Dead? And What if my Tree Falls onto my Neighbor’s Property?

As homeowners, we love our houses. We tend to the landscapes like Samwise Gamgee tended to Frodo’s mental health. Samwise was, in fact, Frodo’s landscaper. 

Let us ignore that Sam essentially robbed Frodo of his jewelry and left him for dead, despite the fact that he was alive. Frodo was so alive the orcs were like fifty stairs up and said, “Man, look at that totally alive little creature tied up at the bottom of the stairs, in the dark. I’m quite unsure of what sort of creature that is, but the one thing I know, it is definitely alive.”

That is beside the point. Allow me to get back to whose insurance will cover damage caused by a fallen tree. I promise I will omit any Ent references that creep into my head.

Pretend there is a bad storm and one of my trees blows over onto your garage.

Your garage is destroyed. This is definitely an insurance claim. My tree, my insurance, right? Wrong! A tree is a gift from nature, and if nature decides to uproot one and send it crashing through your neighbor’s roof, that is a claim on your neighbor’s insurance. It’s unfortunate because homeowners claims are surcharge-able and having too many can disqualify you from many policies.

The only way you could be held liable in a situation like this is if you were negligent in maintenance of the tree. If you left a dead tree to rot on your property, it could become a war of liability between the insurance companies. Your best bet is to keep your neighbors (and your trees) happy by taking proper care of your wooden friends to prevent any unnecessary damage from a falling tree. 

Dying trees are unhappy trees, and unhappy trees can cause a lot of damage...ask Saruman. Generally, if a tree falls on someone’s property and causes damage, the claim will be filed on the property owner’s insurance policy as storm damage.

Understanding how this process works in advance can prevent tempers from flaring during a loss such as this. So, instead of pointing fingers and arguing in the driveway, your neighbor can call their insurance company to file a claim while you watch Lord of the Rings together.

Before the next storm--wielding the wind-power of the flap of the Great Eagle’s mighty wings-- invades your neighborhood, check with a professional at Carter Family Insurance to ensure your home has the protection of Helm’s Deep

By Seth Carter, November 6, 2019