Author Topic: What to do When a Tree falls on Your House  (Read 432 times)

Offline TxMom

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What to do When a Tree falls on Your House
« on: September 06, 2018, 08:20:18 AM »
We had very large tree split and fall on our house.

Thankfully the damage was minor to the roof.  We do have a couple of chainsaws which my husband knows how to use along with safety gear.  When I called the insurance the adjuster who took over 24 hours to get back with us.  So we also talked to our local agent who said that we should take lots of pictures, but not move the limbs off the house until she looked at it.  My husband was wanting to get the tree off our house asap, esp as he a 3 days off at that time and the idea was if he did that work himself, it would be less money out of pocket because of the 1% deductible.   The adjuster then told we needed to remove the large limb, 24" in diameter from the roof before she came by, to take lots of pictures, to keep track of the hours my husband used to remove the tree and if he wasn't comfortable removing them, to keep receipts of whomever was hired to remove the tree.  At this time our local agent came by and took pictures too, letting us know how fairly and generous the adjuster would treat us.


She allowed us $130 for the work he did removing the tree from the roof and about $500 for getting the remains cleared out of our yard. The amount for fixing the roof was close. Overall, she gave us $150 after our deductiable.  She was like after you take the tree off the roof, if the damage is minor just call me and cancel the claim. Which we did not do, that limb was very heavy and we had no idea if it caused any structual damage. After she came by without showing us the breakdown in print, she was like do you want to dismiss the claim, you will only get $150, it will be off your record although other agencies may not see it has been dismissed.  I need to know today before I leave.  After we decided to pursue the claim, and wanted to see the figures, she had me go online and add our banking info so the money could be directly deposited in our bank.  It didn't feel right, we went and talked to the friendly local agent and he was like that is between you and her, I have nothing to do with claims, but I can email her your concerns.


Rest of the tree remained on the property, it needs to be removed asap.  She told us they only covered trees standing if they are struck by lightning or damaged by fire. So we started to get quotes on tree removal.  Arborist who came by was very angry with our insurance adjuster.  Evidently removing a tree that size from a structure is a $2000 job because of the danger, this is what they paid us $130 for because we did the work ourselves.  If this is true, then we should all think twice before getting our chainsaws out after a storm.  He also said the remaining tree should be part of the claim, because it has large cracks and a hollow hole you can see through.   To talk to the insurance adjuster, so I am working on that.


If anyone has advice on dealing with insurance claims, please chip in.

 It is common practice here when a tree falls on a friends house or other structure to have a group go out and help them remove said tree.  Surely it will help them pay for their deductable amount.  Now I am thinking this may not be true.  Links to remaining tree


https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10215783283947958&set=pcb.10215783289708102&type=3&theater



https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10215783283627950&set=pcb.10215783289708102&type=3&theater

So the question is when we have chain saws, when should we use them and when should we call a tree guy?  This would be great to know before something like this happens

Offline Stwood

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Re: What to do When a Tree falls on Your House
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2018, 02:52:40 PM »
I myself would not remove anything (unless it was laying on someone) before an adjuster got there, even if they told you to move it.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: What to do When a Tree falls on Your House
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2018, 04:56:33 PM »
Wow... sounds like the insurance adjuster didn't do you any favors...

Offline TxMom

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Re: What to do When a Tree falls on Your House
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2018, 06:03:34 PM »
In fairness they did give us for cleaning up the wood once off the house and hauling it away for a total of $650.   The tree guy's number of $2000 including the other clean up issues included cleanup.  That is still a big difference.

Yes, next time I don't think we will remove anything before the adjuster comes out.  Talked to her today and she said no way would the remaining part of the tree be covered, he said because it was damaged so badly it is dangerous to keep in the yard, it should be covered.  He said in the future don't take it off any structure, including fence, 4 wheeler, etc. (hopefully not in my future)

Got another tree guy coming out, seeing what his numbers would be.  Renewal of insurance of both car and home is coming up and we will be checking other options. 

I don't think she did us any favors either.  I would like to know if this is common practice among all insurance companies or only some.   Need a book on navigating the insurance maze.  Not trying to cheat nor file fradulate claim. 

Offline TxMom

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Re: What to do When a Tree falls on Your House
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2018, 02:57:51 PM »
Update: We got a little more from our insurance company.  Their policy, if a homeowner does the work themselves before the adjuster comes out, they pay about $13 hr labor. It doesn't matter if you are have a certificate, training, etc in any field, electrician, roofer, plumber, arborist when you do the labor yourself before the adjuster comes it, you get paid that flat homeowner's labor rate. 

When I brought up I could not pay someone to do that work for what they paid us, they said they understood my point. But they had no way to do such. They did bump up his hours 2.5 times the hours he actually worked and gave him another $50 for new chain saw chains. Better.  Still, they said it is best if no work is done before the adjuster somes out or that you hire such emergency work out. 

Now if only the adjuster said such, or even my local agent when I called for advice before filing a claim. 

Insurance will be up for renewal in a month. May switch back to someone else whose local agents knew how things worked and gave good advice.