Storm Damage: Who pays?

Strong storms came through Monday night.

When the sun came up, you may have discovered some damage on your property.

It's the classic question: When a tree on your property, falls on your neighbor's property, who pays for the damage left behind?

American Family Insurance Agent Stephen Darrington Junior said that if the tree fell because of the storm, "It actually goes on the homeowner's policy of whoever has the damage. The other party isn't responsible simply because it wasn't negligence."

Darrington said that a claims adjuster will come out to see the scope of the damage and the policy holder will just have to pay the deductible.

"Check your policy. Make sure you know your deductible and make sure you know what you have to pay in the instance of that happening," he said.

Where things get a littler murkier, if the tree was dead and the property owner neglected to take care of it, they'd be on the hook, but there has to be proof.

"You want to document it, every time you tell them. Say 'hey, this tree is looking bad. It can fall on my house at any time. I need you to cut down the branches.' And just document every time that you do that and just kinda keep a journal entry," Darrington said.

Darrington said that you can also try to be proactive and work with your neighbor if you have any concerns about trees hanging over your property, to avoid having to pay for damages if a storm does come through.

"You can possibly go half with them. I'm sure if it's a neighbor's house and they love their house and you love your house, they wouldn't mind helping you get the tree down somehow," he said.

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