If part of your property causes damage to your neighbor’s property, it is your neighbor that must file a claim with their insurance. If you wish to add a policy that covers damages to your neighbor’s property if their and your property is damaged in the same event, or if your property damages your neighbor’s property, then it is possible to do so.
Who files the claim?
As I searched through different websites that educate people on how homeowner insurance works, how to file a claim, and what situations the homeowner is liable for, I came across a pretty decent answer.
In a nutshell, if a piece of your property damages your neighbor’s property, then your neighbor has to file an insurance claim.
Your neighbor has to file the claim because their house or their property has been damaged.
Anytime there is some damage to the house, the insurance company must know about it, even if it is not enough to file a claim.
How a home can be damaged
But there are other ways for your property to damage your neighbor’s property.
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Sometimes it is not the tree that falls onto the neighbor’s property but a piece of your own home.
If, for some reason, a section of your house falls on your neighbor’s house and destroys their shed or a piece of their home, then your neighbor must file an insurance claim as well.
But in this case, you will both have to file claims.
You will file a claim because your house was destroyed through structural damage or a natural disaster, and your neighbor will file a claim because an outside agent damaged their property.
The same rules apply to you and your neighbor if your house catches on fire.
Whether it’s from an electrical fire or a cooking accident, if the fire from your house damages your neighbor’s home, then they must contact their insurance.
Another way your property can damage your neighbor’s property is if you have an above ground pool, and it breaks and ruins your neighbor’s lawn or backyard. The water could seep into their basement or flood their backyard.
Policies that cover your neighbor’s property
Suppose you are worried about your property damaging your neighbor’s property.
In that case, you can call your homeowner’s insurance and add on a policy that protects against damage to other people’s property.
The extra cost will cause your monthly payments to go up, but it may save you from financial ruin in the long run.
Ways property can be damaged.
But what if you accidentally slam your car into their front porch or their shed?
Who has to file in this situation? Because it is your car that destroyed their property, it would be your insurance that pays for the damage to your neighbor’s home.
If the crash resulted from a medical issue, then your car insurance may still give you money to repair your car or purchase a new vehicle. But you are unlikely to receive money if the crash was the result of drunk driving.
What if there is a telephone pole on your property and it breaks apart and falls on your neighbor’s property.
In this situation, you won’t be at fault unless you are the one who damaged the telephone pole and caused it to break off or fall.
If the telephone pole fell because it was poorly maintained, that is the city’s fault, and both you and your neighbor and anyone else whose property was damaged by the pole can sue the city or the electrical company.
What else can your neighbor do if your property damages theirs?
It is important to know that your neighbor can take you to court and sue you to cover the damages that their insurance will not.
Since your neighbor is the one that must file a claim, their premiums will likely go up. If this happens, they can take you to court.
You might be able to get away with not paying anything if the damage was due to natural disasters or sudden environmental shifts.
But if you knowingly have a part of your home that is damaged or decaying but you did nothing about it, then your neighbor will have a better legal case against you.
If you are unsure about what your homeowner’s insurance says when it comes to someone else damaging your property, then call your case representative and schedule a meeting with them to sit down and go over the details.
Homeowners insurance is a necessity in this day and age, and you need to know the exact details of what is covered in your insurance policy.
Protecting Yourself in a claim
If your property damages your neighbor’s property or damages yours, you must take as many pictures as possible.
Only through pictures or video recording can insurance be sure about whose fault it was and who should get the blame.
Plus, video evidence protects you from neighbors who take advantage of the situation and try to cause more damage to their property and blame it on you.
People who have pictures or video evidence of the damaged property are less likely to be sued in court for facetious damages.
It is also a excellent idea to ask around your neighborhood and see if your other neighbors have video evidence of the incident. The less you rely on eyewitness reports and pointing fingers, the better protected you’ll be.
If a part of your property damages your neighbor’s property, then it is your neighbor that has to file a claim.
But since your property is also damaged, you will have to file a claim and inform your insurance about what happened and what was damaged.
If your car damages your neighbor’s property, your auto insurance must pay for their home repairs.
If the tree in your backyard is becoming an issue and you fear it could fall on your neighbors’ home or property, call the city and let them know. You can file a complaint against your tree to have documentation that you told the city, and they did not react in time.