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Tree Care & Removals | Roofing, Siding & Home Renovations

Archive for the ‘Tree Care & Removals’ Category

Laws concerning this topic vary from state to state. Insurance companies’ policy language also varies greatly throughout the insurance industry.

Our experience is based upon disaster recovery efforts from hundreds of customer claims with almost all the major insurance companies over the past 30 years.

If you or your neighbor has what is commonly called a “D” tree (dead, damaged, diseased, dying, downed), then the owner of the tree has responsibility for that tree.

If your neighbor’s tree damages one of your insured items (house, shed, car, boat, fence, etc.) that is specified in your coverage, then YOUR insurance company will be responsible for your loss minus your deductible.

If you recognize that your neighbor’s tree is actually a “D” tree, then common courtesy dictates that you inform them of your concern of the potential damage or injury that their tree could cause to you or your family. If after a reasonable time (you decide what is reasonable), follow up with a brief letter that describes your concern and the day and time that you had the original conversation. Send this letter registered mail, return receipt requested, and file the receipt in your records clipped to your insurance policy.

Should the tree in question cause future damage or injury, YOUR insurance company should cover your loss and restore your property to its original condition based upon the limits and specifications of your policy. When you produce your documentation, your insurance company MAY decide to seek reimbursement from your neighbor’s insurance company if the effort would justify the effort and expense. If your insurance can prove your neighbor’s negligence and THEY prevail in court, you MAY be refunded any deductible that you paid for the loss and they MAY, at their discretion, change the category for this claim in your file so it is not charged against your insurance history.

Every situation is different, as are coverages and the interpretations of the companies involved. It is ALWAYS best for the responsible party to take the appropriate action to attend to the health of the tree, cable the tree if necessary, fertilize and maintain the root system of the tree, or as a last resort, pay for its safe removal by an insured professional.

In cases where the ownership of a “D” tree was in question, some folks hire a surveyor to make a determination of tree ownership based upon property boundaries or just agree to share the removal cost and maintain their friendship.

Another situation involves only branches that overhang the property line and break that invisible “barrier” that extends from your property line into outer space. Portions of a tree that encroach over this boundary are your property and you may do with them as you please. Just make sure that if you are having conflict with a neighbor that you do not trespass by encroaching onto their property without their permission during your branch trimming activity.

Again, I caution folks in this situation to seek an amicable resolution and don’t go whacking off the branches of your neighbor’s tree without that friendly conversation or professional advice as to how your pruning or thinning may affect the life of the tree.

SOAP BOX WARNING—
Finally, don’t ever, under any circumstances, allow anyone for any reason to “top” or “top off” (remove all the leaf-bearing branches of a mature tree) any of your trees. This is absolutely one of the worst actions you could ever take to harm a tree. It would be much better to remove the entire tree than to take this action.

Can you tell that we REALLY like trees and enjoy caring for them?