Why landlords need liability insurance

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Q: I manage a single-family home for an out-of-state owner. A branch from a tree on the front lawn fell on the tenant's car, which was properly parked in the driveway. The owner's insurance carrier refused to pay for the damage to the tenant's car, claiming no damage was done to the actual home. So, the tenant had the work done on her own, and filed a claim with her car insurance company, who paid the bill ($3,000) except for the $1,000 deductible. She wants the owner to cover the deductible, and I agree. What do you think? --Will G. A: At the bottom of all this is whether the owner is responsible for the damage to the tenant's car. Even if the tree was well-trimmed, and the branch broke off unexpectedly, the answer is yes. Most of the time, when something on the rental property over which the landlord has control -- be it the front steps or a tree -- damages a tenant's property or injures a tenant doing something she has a right to do, the landlord will be responsible. Tha...