If a tree from someone else's property falls on your home causing damage, who pays for it?
That scenario occurs often during storms.
A Jackson renter grappled with that huge problem Monday and wondered where to turn.
Kenethia Brown returned to her Lewis Street home Monday afternoon to find that a dying tree from the vacant lot next door landed on her roof and covered the car parked beside it.
"We called the city to inform them that the tree had fallen because this is not on her property," Brown said. "This is someone else's property, and the city has been contacted several times about getting these tires up."
Fortunately no one was home at the time.
Brown is a renter and is looking to city but may find little help there.
Jackson City Spokesman Chris Mims said a Street Division crew went to the location Monday to investigate after being called by residents.
Workers found that the city is not responsible for the tree removal.
"The city can only address fallen trees if they have fallen onto city right of ways," Mims said. "We can not go onto private property."
Recent storms have uprooted trees and even sent some crashing onto neighboring property.
Who is responsible for repairs and removal?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, it does not matter who owns the tree.
If it lands on your home, you should file a claim with your insurance company.
Most policies also cover the cost of removing the tree, up to about $1,000.00 depending on the policy.
Vehicles damaged or destroyed by falling trees are covered under comprehensive auto insurance policies.
"We just need to know who's going to get this tree off the top of the house and off her car and who's responsible," Brown said.
After speaking with her landlord, the Jackson resident was told that the property owner is responsible for the removal.
Brown said her landlord's insurance agent would assess the property Wednesday.
Although there was no interior damage to the home, experts recommend that Brown obtain renter's insurance to protect her personal items.
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