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Damaged caused by neighbor's tree covered under your insurance policy

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – In the wake of so many trees falling during and after Irene, many of our Facebook Fans have asked what happens if your neighbor's tree fell onto your house.  After days of bad news, we may have uncovered a small bright spot. As a general rule, if you have homeowner's insurance, the policy will cover the damage to your home, caused by a fallen tree, whether that tree is yours or your neighbor's.

The sights, sounds and emotions of Irene echo in the minds of Richmonders.

"After my boyfriend's mom screamed, I thought the worst that a tree had come through the house," explained Jessica Keiffer, who lives near Regency Mall.

Her thought wasn't far from the truth. It was like something out of a Hollywood blockbuster, as the tree from her yard crushed her neighbor's home.

Amazingly, no one was hurt. The people who live next door are on vacation. After those safety concerns were calmed, though, like many people, Keiffer thought about the extensive cleanup.

"That is always a concern that who has to pay for it," she wondered. "Where is the brunt of that responsibility going to fall because it is an expensive thing to clean up and it's going to be a lot of work?"

We've learned the rule is somewhat simple. My policy covers my home and my neighbors' policy covers their home. For the most part, that includes tree removal, cleanup and damages from the particular home that's covered under each policy.

"It's a little bit of a relief," Keiffer told us. "Knowing that there will be construction and there will be things going on, it can be inconveniencing. But to know that there's no financial responsibility on our shoulders is helpful."

It's important to note, insurance will cover the damage costs up to the policy limits. Of course, that is minus your deductible. Your best bet is to call your insurance agent with your questions.

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