Packing your bags and moving somewhere more rural is a dream that is probably shared by many city dwellers. In my eyes, the sight of tall trees rather than tall buildings always comes as a welcome relief. Furthermore, the countryside is full of picturesque properties draped in flora and fauna, and it’s one of the main pull factors for rural home buyers; although I guarantee that many overlook the potential risks that large trees/vegetation pose to nearby buildings.
However, most buildings insurers do recognise these threats, and either exclude cover entirely for certain perils such as subsidence and flooding, or increase the excesses. This can potentially leave homeowners stuck with large costs of repairing damages in the event of a claim – which believe me can be huge!
Trees can seriously affect your buildings insurance
Things to consider:
- The potential property damage if the trees were to fall
- Roots can alter the soil structure which can ultimately lead to subsidence
- Roots are unlikely to penetrate solid foundations, but can exploit any cracks or faults
- Removal of trees can cause ‘heave’
- Leaves can ‘clog’ guttering leading to drainage issues
If you have already bought a house with a large tree nearby and are worried about it causing damage:
- Don’t cut it down – check first that the tree isn’t protected by the Tree Preservation Order or you may face a penalty for damaging it.
- If you DO remove the tree, the soil may swell with the additional moisture that isn’t being removed by the trees roots which can cause significant movement to nearby properties, this is known as heave.
Take note of the following for insurance purposes: