Public Liability Insurance

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    Public Liability Insurance

    A large tree which is in my neighbours garden has blown over and landed on the roof of my portacabin causing extensive damage.
    My Portacabin is not insured.
    Am I not wrong in assuming that if my neighbour has his house insured his policy will automatically have Public Liability Insurance which would cover incidents like this.

    Any advice gratefully received.

    Was it predictable? Was it an apparently healthy tree or was neighbour (or you) digging around it or trenching (for example).

    If it is just one of those things, you are responsible. If you caused it, you may be responsible for sorting out your neighbour's problems as well.


      There is no legal requirement for house insurance. I'm not sure that lenders are concerned about public liability insurance. So, whilst it is likely that there is public liability insurance, there may not be.

      The existence of such insurance is irrelevant to who is liable, and, as already pointed out, you need to establish negligence before the neighbour needs to worry, at all.


        If this was a healthy tree then the only person at fault is Mother Nature and unfortunately this means you will have to repair the damage yourself.

        If you feel the tree was not healthy or there is another reason you believe that your neighbour could have contributed to the falling of the tree (either through neglect or by something they have done), then there could be grounds to make a claim against your neighbour (whether they are insured or not).
        Steve Smith - Company Director at a leading Landlord Insurance broker with 18+ years experience in the industry
        LandlordZONE Verified Poster and Topic Expert for Landlords Insurance since 2009
        See my profile for contact details


          Originally posted by Always Problems View Post
          Am I not wrong in assuming that if my neighbour has his house insured his policy will automatically have Public Liability Insurance which would cover incidents like this?
          No, you are wrong.
          It's possible, but you can't assume it.

          Not that it really matters to you.
          If you have a valid claim (duty of care, negligence and reasonably foreseeable damage), they're liable whether or not they've insured against the likelihood.
          If you don't have a claim, the insurance wouldn't pay out anyway.
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


            I should add the tree is on the opposite bank of a stream (his side) the tree is growing at a 45 degree angle so over the years it started to grow over my fence at an angle. 20 years ago I placed a portacabin at my boundary (when the tree was smaller) now the tree is so large that it has fallen down, straddling the stream, when it hit my portacabin a branch broke off, the remained of the branch went down the portacabin window, breaking it and now rests on the window ledge, holding the tree up.
            My neighbour has accused me of pushing the portacabin into the tree to break the window.
            I understand that during the last 20 years no attempt by the tree owner has occured to reduce the tree by lopping branches off.


              Did you ever warn them that the tree posed a risk to your property? Was that in writing?


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