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My insurance company wants me to butcher my oak.

Posted: Thu May 27, 2010 9:14 pm
by Kapn.K
Last Thurs my agent called on behalf of my insurer, requesting pics of my trees being trimmed back from overhanging the roof. I told her it was the first I had heard of any of it. The insurer sent an inspector out Mar 2nd. I just bought this house in January, new policy, etc. I told her to email me the documents(I'm not getting a saw near this tree if it isn't in writing). So then I told her I would check out what it would take to meet this. I got home and looked at it and it would be 1/4 to 1/3 of the canopy on one side. Now I've been searching online for alternatives(My tree and I are not going down without a fight). That's how I found ENTS. Some of my thoughts are, see how much extra they would charge to assume the risk, if they would accept the recommendation/pruning by a certified arborist, see if my agent can find another insurer, find another agent and insurer myself. It seems like ENTS are tree lovers and I hope some of you can offer some advice. I live in a country club called Royal Oak. There are some awesome ones around here. Whenever I'm allowed to post pics, I will post mine and this monster right behind the clubhouse. Any help is most appreciated.
Thanks,
Steve

Re: My insurance company wants me to butcher my oak.

Posted: Thu May 27, 2010 10:57 pm
by edfrank
Steve,

Perhaps you should be searching for a new insurer that does not have these ridiculous restrictions. Perhaps even the threat of finding another insurer might be enough to make them rescind the trim your tree or else notice.

Ed

Re: My insurance company wants me to butcher my oak.

Posted: Thu May 27, 2010 11:32 pm
by James Parton
It sounds like they are paranoid to me. They are afraid the tree may fall so they might have to pay out. Many cut perfectly healthy trees out of rediculous paranoia.

JP

Re: My insurance company wants me to butcher my oak.

Posted: Fri May 28, 2010 10:39 am
by Kapn.K
I know why they want it. I am in hurricane country. My view is this thing has been here next to the house for at least 45 years(when the house was built). It's seen some hurricanes. I'm willing to bet the person that reviewed the inspection has no tree knowledge and just thinks trees over roof="bad". Insurance companies are right there with oil companies to me. They're greed driven. Homeowners in Fl is very difficult. Most of them want out of our market. I want all the shade over the house I can. Our late summer sun is BRUTAL on the power bill. This will be my first summer with this house so we shall see. I think another company might be the answer. This is my first home that I've owned so all of these dealings are new to me. Thanks for the suggestions and empathy.
Steve

Re: My insurance company wants me to butcher my oak.

Posted: Fri May 28, 2010 3:38 pm
by AndrewJoslin
Look around your area to locate a Certified Arborist who specializes in tree preservation, explain the situation and ask for a risk assessment and advice. You might need to talk to a few different CA's before you find one who will be more interested in preserving the tree in the best possible health as opposed to over-pruning/topping the tree. Also look around for any organizations working to preserve Florida oaks, they may have some good advice on strategies for dealing with insurance companies.

Andrew Joslin
Jamaica Plain, MA

Re: My insurance company wants me to butcher my oak.

Posted: Fri May 28, 2010 8:03 pm
by mdavie
It's an arbitrary and common desire for people to think that removing limbs overhanging a roof is always a good thing. I don't know your circumstances, but while keeping limbs from being very close or on the roof is a good thing, there's nothing inherently bad about limbs over roofs. You may get a little more debris in gutters, or a little more lichen or moss growth if they're close. Not a big deal, really. Your insurance agent, like many people, may not have a good grasp of the issue, or maybe they just want a little more clearance. I can't tell how clear you are on their desires, but if you're not, find out just what they want— or if they're willing to accept the opinion of an arborist. You find a certified arborist, a master arborist, or a consulting arborist to take a look and write a short assessment note, and that might appease them (and inform you as well).
Good luck.