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I have a question. My neighbor had some trees with branches hanging over his roof. He call his home owners insurance co and they paid to remove the trees. Is this standard practice for insurance companies? They said it was cheaper to remove them than to fix the roof when they fall. I also have a tree hanging over the roof that I've been quoted 1700 to remove. I've never made a claim on my policy and I don't want my rates to go up. The adjuster told my neighbor that it was different than a claim and wouldn't affect his premiums. I was just curious if anyone else had similar experience?

Thanks!
Michael

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I heard of similar stories but I believe it is very YMMV. He must have a good agent and policy. Several years ago I asked the exact same question to my insurance co, and got shot down promptly. I did nothing and that particular tree is still standing as of now. In the meanwhile I have changed my insurance co (partly due to this matter) and sold that house (not due to this issue).

Unless its a 100 ft tall palm/etc tree, I never understand whats the big deal with cutting down or trimming your own tree. Just use a hand saw (if you have patience) or a chain saw and start trimming in a common sense way. e.g. dont saw a huge branch off that is obviously going to crash down on your roof. Start small and work your way up.

I admit that stumps are a PITA, but they can be finished off over time.

xoneinax said: Unless its a 100 ft tall palm/etc tree, I never understand whats the big deal with cutting down or trimming your own tree. Just use a hand saw (if you have patience) or a chain saw and start trimming in a common sense way. e.g. dont saw a huge branch off that is obviously going to crash down on your roof. Start small and work your way up.

I admit that stumps are a PITA, but they can be finished off over time.


I am more of a do it yourselfer too, but terrified about bees. I had to hire a company to clear the dead trees and control the bee issue. Much better now. No problems with any other creatures, just bees, wasps, and hornets. Honey bees, I'm ok with, they don't bother you, but the others ones... scary..... Sorry for the tangent.

to OP, a $1700 claim does not make sense. Neither does alerting your insurer that you have dangerous condition on your property.

I have no idea of anything thats "different than a claim" and never heard of any insurer paying for home maintenance (which is what this is). Why not take it further and ask the insurer to replace your furnace if its leaking gas or replace your water heater if it has a small leak and is in danger of damaging your home with a huge leak?

Perhaps insurance in your state works differently.

You should shop around (again). I called 4-5 placed and quoted between $500 to $2000. If you could clean up the debris yourself, they might give you cheaper price. Coz that's what I did.

be wary of the "it doesn't count as a claim" promise.

I know it's not the same, but look at how many people make the foolish choice to pay for glass coverage (auto), then use the coverage to replace a windshield having been told that it won't count as a claim. Not only does the deductible almost always equal about what you would pay for the windshield anyway, but people frequently report that it *does* count as a claim after all and their premium increases. From what I can tell, it's only a minimal bump when compared to something like an at fault accident... but, seriously... even with an extremely low deductible on you HO policy, I can't see how it makes sense to risk an increase in premium for a mere $1700.

To me, homeowner's insurance is to protect against lawsuits and catastrophic losses. Small claims (i.e., anything that you should be able to cover yourself, essentially "self-insuring") should *always* be avoided and, in light of all of this, deductibles should be set at the highest level possible (because, logically, if you are only insuring against huge losses, you won't need to pay the deductible unless your whole house burns down or something like that). The point is to get maximum coverage/protection from damage/liability, with the lowest premium possible. You can achieve this by having a high deductible, no lapses in coverage, and a good claims history.

Plus, whatever money you get from the insurance company for your tree removal will surely be lost over the next several years if your premium increases, even if just slightly. If you have any means of doing so, *do not* make ANY claims against your insurance policies, especially homeowner's (which can become very expensive and hard to qualify for if you have a poor claims history).

I can understand the need to have low deductibles and to make claims for minor damages when a person has no savings or assets to fall back on during times of marginal misfortune. Yet, it is *very* wasteful and uninformed to make claims against a policy for things you could easily cover out of pocket. A good claims history and low premium are worth far more than the few thousand dollar check they'll cut you for minimal losses.

Cantecleer said: be wary of the "it doesn't count as a claim" promise.

I know it's not the same, but look at how many people make the foolish choice to pay for glass coverage (auto), then use the coverage to replace a windshield having been told that it won't count as a claim. Not only does the deductible almost always equal about what you would pay for the windshield anyway, but people frequently report that it *does* count as a claim after all and their premium increases.


I recently pulled my claims history report through a link from FWF and was shocked to see a windshield replacement listed. I was specifically told that it's not considered a claim--and technically, I guess it wasn't, but it sure is printed on my claims history for other insurers to see should I change providers.

I had a similar situation, after calling it to my ins. co. attention, they sent me a letter stating that they WOULD NOT pay for any damages resulting from the tree falling on my roof-EVER !

rminky said: I had a similar situation, after calling it to my ins. co. attention, they sent me a letter stating that they WOULD NOT pay for any damages resulting from the tree falling on my roof-EVER !yes, you need to be EXTREMELY careful what you tell your insurer.

It make no sense what so ever and I _highly_ doubt this was the case. Maintenance is _clearly_ not covered under the policy and if insurance companies were to pay to _possibly_ prevent damage from occurring, they would go out of business. Technically if the person knew the trees could damage the roof and did nothing about it, the claim _could_ be denied (but they would probably pay and non-renew the policy if they thought the owner was neglecting proper care in the home). I've worked for many insurance companies and I've _never_ even heard of a carrier paying a claim such as you mentioned. Again, I seriously doubt this is correct.

I was in the tree business for a while. Never had the insurance company pay unless the tree had fallen.On the house, on the car, on the fence ,or something. I did use it as as selling point when the homeowner wanted it cheaper. I would always point out that they could call me back if (when) it fell on the house the insurance company would probally pay for the cleanup and repair. I would be careful about that too. You are required to perform due dilegence. If there is a big dead tree in you yard for five years and you don't do anything the insurance company can claim you didn't take reasonable precautions if if it falls over and takes out your car. If you know you have a dangerous condition and don't do anything the insurance company can probally avoid paying. So why would they pay for preventive maintenance. No free lunch boys. (if it does happen, I'd claim ignorance--but I wouldn't tell them I had a dangerous condition I was too cheap to solve--talk about giving them an out!) FYI, most of the time when trees fall over they cause suprisingly little damage. When they fall on the house they ususally just lean over and put a hole in the roof. Its rare that a big branch will break off and come crashing through. Watchout for big cottonwoods and diseased elms. It happens but most of the time they don't make a clean break. Pine trees seem to fall over a lot-- they have surface roots and if there is a lot of rain and the ground is saturated in a big wind they just lean down.



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