Insuring my house in the event my tree falls on it!


(fiona mcclean) #1

Sorry I still not have managed to put a photo up. I think it is my server.


I am asking advice about a tree. in 2014 I bought a house in Crest. I was aware of the enormous Cedre du Liban very close by but went ahead with the purchase after reassuring my self having sort advice and information of the likelihood of the tree appropriately named, Hercules, that he would not fall down except perhaps in the event of a catastrophe like a tempest.


A tree expert came and looked at Hercules who is 1 metre from the house and said he was in good health. He said it would be a risk to try to reduce the height of Hercules because it could not be know how he would react, possible the change might effect water intake and the tree might even start dying. he added Hercules was about 150 years old and he would be very reluctant to cut down a magnificent and healthy tree. He also added that if a branch did die then at that point something would need to be done, ie remove branch. Hercules, inspite of being such a magnificent tree is not a protected tree.


I am discovering that it is difficult to insure for the possibility of your tree falling and damaging your own property. Axa, my assurance only do a 'garden pack' option which offers very little cover. Only in the light of a natural catastrophe, like a tempest, recognised by the maire and documented would my house be insured. MAAF do a slightly better version which would probably be enough just to remover poor old Hercules if he did fall down.


Has anyone experience of tree assurance in France or know of an assurer who might give a more generous cover?


The neighbours houses apparently are covered if damaged by for ex a falling branch. None of the neighbours have expressed concern over the presence of a large tree near by. the immediate neighbours actually have had to be reassured he will not be removed!


Any advice welcome


Thankyou


Fiona


(fiona mcclean) #2

Wow I am not alone! And glad to know I am not the only one that will buy a house with a beautiful tree inspite of the insurance factor. All our neighbours love Hercules. What an amazing site. So much helpful advice given.


(fiona mcclean) #3

Thank you very much for your useful reply. Reassured to know my neighbours are covered/


(fiona mcclean) #4

Thank you

Very helpful and will check it out.


(Paul O'Sullivan) #5

Hi, You may wish to look at a Lloyd's of London policy available in France like www.insuremyvilla.com who do say in their cover -

Falling trees or branches, lampposts or telegraph poles, but not to trees being cut down or cut back at the premises


(Brian Milne) #6

More or less completes what I was trying to say Chris. Managing it ensures the tree is safe BUT by a qualified woodcutter/forester who provides a receipt with details on it.


(Chris Knox-Johnston) #7

I have always understood that the fall back position on French insurance is that, if a tree falls and damages or injures third party property or person - then you are insured under your house insurance. However, if a tree was to fall on your own property and damage your own property, then the damage would not be covered as it is your responsibility to ensure that the tree is safe.

This does not take into account tempests and the like of course.

However, the same attitude may not be taken by all insurers so ask your insurer (or one from whom you are getting a quote) and ask for the reply in writing. A telephone conversation with an employee who no longer works there is unlikely to be recorded or remembered.


(Brian Milne) #8

Kind of.

There were two of them when we came. The top picture shows on that was on a slope beside the house, you can't actually see it because of the wall, but it is a two and a half metre quite steep slope. The roots extended under the house. This picture is at cellar level below the main house, so it gives an idea. The second picture just about shows both. The left hand one extends roots under the garage there on the left and on the right you can just see parts of the other tree.

These pictures were taken before we bought. We had quite a few questions, so among the people we brought in was an insurance assessor, a friend of my wife so quite independent from insurers here in France. We loved them both, such beautiful trees. However, the right hand one on the slope was far too big and heavy for the slope, may well have been pushed over by a storm and done serious damage. Rather than have it topped and lopped we had it felled because it had to stop growing entirely. The one by the garage was topped and lopped and will have to be again in the next couple of years but the root system is deep and stable, so not a risk.

Once we were here and had insured we asked about tree damage and the thing to really know and remember is that the insurer will want to know if the tree is 'maintained', that is to say that it is cut back properly if it appears unstable or causes a risk. Ironically that lower picture roof needs replacement and with our maintained tree or the pylon just behind it, we would just love either to do serious damage so that we could be helped out having the work done. In the storms two weeks ago one half dead branch two metres above the ground broke, but the rest having been managed was fine because it has been managed.