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A tree has to be taken down because of an automobile accident so the question is...

Buffalo, NY |

What will the insurance company pay for? The tree is over 50 years old and has been used for protection for this reason. We do not want to have anyone injured/killed because of this. Since the tree will be taken down we will now have the fear of something terrible happening. It will take another 50 years or so for another tree to build that streng;th. Can we insist that the insurance company pay for some other barrier? Does anyone have any suggestions?

Attorney Answers 7

  1. The driver's insurance should have at least 10k in property damage coverage. I would ask the driver's insurance company what the limits of the insurance are for property damage and then you can better evaluate how to proceed.

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  2. You have alot going on here. You should speak to a local attorney as these sorts of things vary on a state by state basis. It also depends on what kind of insurance you carry and what carrier you are with. Best of Luck.

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  3. Your question is unclear. What the policy limits of an insurance policy, yours or the drivers are for property damage is one thing. Replacing a tree is another. Generally speaking, a replaced tree need not be a sapling, but it can still be only a modest size with a rootball capable of being moved with modern landscaping equipment, like Vermeer planters.

    If you're using this tree for "protection" from motor vehicles encroaching on your property, you may want to consider other features, such as guard rails, earthen berms, curbs or the like. The insurance company and attorneys and adjusters looking at liability issues will probably not consider the engineering or even aesthetic value of a tree, unless the falling tree damaged other property or requires to be cut up and removed.

    Hope this helps.

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  4. More likely than not, the insurance carrier (whether your own property insurer or the carrier for the vehicle that struck the tree) will only cover the cost of removal of the old tree and , at best, the cost for planting a sapling or young tree. You should not expect that the carrier will pay for some other "barrier".

  5. From what you wrote I presume an automobile hit the tree. The at fault driver's insurance company should pay for the tree or other barrier from property damage liability coverage. Bear in mind, this may be pro-rated with any vehicle(s) in the accident they damaged also.

  6. If the tree was on your property then you have a potential claim for the damages reasonably calculated from the happening of the accident. Obviously you won't be able to drop in an equivalent tree, so you will need to have an evaluation done of the damage and what it would cost to return the area to as similar a situation as before the accident. You should consult with an attorney to help guide you through negotiations with the insurance company.

  7. The at fault drivers insurance carrier should cover.

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