A homeowner's insurance question regarding a hazardous tree
So, speaking hypothetically.....
Suppose there is a huge tree right next to your house... a giant oak, maybe 70 ft high, with many heavy branches. The tree has a trunk diameter of over 30 inches, and is 17 feet from your house. Unfortunately, insects have taken their toll, and over the past few years, the tree has clearly been dying.... this spring, all of the leaves were consumed by insects shortly after budding. At least a dozen lower branches are completely dead.
So, in thinking about the possibility of the tree being struck by lightning, or being toppled by strong winds, the homeowner asks around, and gets two opinions:
Person A says that the homeowner should call his insurance company, describe the situation, and ask if they will pay a 'preventative claim' to have the tree removed, which could easily cost $1000 or more. Person A says he's done this himself, and his insurance company gladly paid the $1000 claim, rather than risk a $30,000 claim for damages, should the tree fall on the house.
Person B says this is a VERY bad idea. He says that the insurance company will refuse... and if the tree does fall and does damage to the house, the insurance company will then refuse to pay any claim, saying that it was a known pre-existing hazard that the homeowner didn't deal with, even though he knew it was a danger.
Anyone have any experience with this?
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