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Flag pole hit neighbor's car

by Rosaria

The flag pole on my balcony broke off during a storm and hit my neighbor's car. Am I liable? We are in a town home owner's association and not sure if that insurance would cover anything.


Hello Rosaria

This is a really hard question. The answer really depends on all the facts. I don’t think the homeowners association will have much to do here as this is your property and his. However, if the homeowners association is responsible for the flag and the pole (maintain it), then it is possible that they are negligent.

One of the problems here is that this accident could be “an act of God = Wind.” If this is the case, no one is at fault and your neighbor’s car insurance is going to have to eat it (if they have comprehensive coverage). If they do not, they are going to have to pay out of pocket.

If however the flag pole was rusted, not maintain, or you (or the homeowners association) knew that it was weak and that it could knocked out of place, then you can be negligent and will probably have to pay.

His insurance company will probably pay first and then come after you if they believe there is evidence of bad maintenance. Depending on the pole, this can be hard to prove.

Good Luck,

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