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Paddy1000111

Tree inspection- insurance wants a "qualified tree surgeon"

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Hi everyone, 

 

Did a small removal and some pruning for a client today. She also has a 2.8m apple, a 3.5m Quince and a ~4m pear about 6m from the house. The insurance company wants an inspection carried out for subsidence/possible structural damage from the trees within 7m that are over 3m.

I don't carry surveying qualifications or PTI which I told the client. She's sure that I could do it and produced the requirement from Aviva which says "a 24 month inspection for possible subsidence or future root damage carried out by a qualified tree surgeon?". Anyone know what qualified tree surgeon actually means? I would imagine PTI and/or inspection quals but she's adamant I can do it. 

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You'd surely need some kind of academic qualification. Let's face it, NPTC tickets seem to give some people the idea that they are then 'fully qualified' but how much do you really need to know to get those tickets, pretty much nothing. 

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58 minutes ago, Steve Bullman said:

Poor terminology on the insurance companies part 

Absolutely...however a competent person is implied, who may of course be a "qualified tree surgeon" tòo but I'd be very cautious about getting involved if you didn't consider yourself competent to do a detailed site investigation and tree related damage potential report...and have the appropriate insurance of course.

Generally the domain of an arb consultant...and with relevant experience. 

(Tbh PTI isnt relevant here as not a tree risk/hazard assessment report.)

ATB 

Paul

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I agree with all of you and and I told the client I'm not trained in inspection at all nor would I be covered for professional advice and I also wouldn't be qualified so my word means nothing. I think she just wants it done with minimal fuss. Basically these trees are between 4" and 9" at chest height and theres nothing to them but they are covered under a tpo apparently. Just a bit odd because a tree surgeon and arboricultural surveyor are two completely different things. It doesn't make sense to put tree surgeon when they mean arboricultural surveyor. Apparently they don't even want a written report?  

Edited by Paddy1000111

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Just a thought (you have seen the trees and we haven't).

 

Is it worth checking the TPO comment as those are rather unusually small to be covered. If there is actually no TPO then does the shape of them lend itself to a reduction? Fruit trees are regularly pruned anyway, the apple is already below the 3m stipulation, the quince only needs 50cm removing and the pear needs a metre. Only the pear sounds like it might actually need enough removing to question retaining form. If they are reduced below the 3m stipulation, no insurance report needed.

 

This is what we did with the pear less than a foot from our wall. In practice, the pear will almost certainly be grafted on quince rootstock (at that height, probably Quince A) which has a fairly weak, fibrous root structure anyway. Standard planting spacing would be 12' and the odds are that there are no roots of any visible thickness that even reach the house, although I am not qualified to say that!

 

Alec

Edited by agg221
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19 hours ago, Paddy1000111 said:

Hi everyone, 

 

Did a small removal and some pruning for a client today. She also has a 2.8m apple, a 3.5m Quince and a ~4m pear about 6m from the house. The insurance company wants an inspection carried out for subsidence/possible structural damage from the trees within 7m that are over 3m.

I don't carry surveying qualifications or PTI which I told the client. She's sure that I could do it and produced the requirement from Aviva which says "a 24 month inspection for possible subsidence or future root damage carried out by a qualified tree surgeon?". Anyone know what qualified tree surgeon actually means? I would imagine PTI and/or inspection quals but she's adamant I can do it. 

Aviva clearly has been sloppy in their wording. Do they want an inspection of the building or an inspection of the trees? Or both? It's fraught with difficulties (i.e. risk) but most likely will come to nothing (you won't be sued).....so let me tell you what I would do if I was asked to attend the site and charge them several hundred pounds? I would record each tree, its size, its potential size and its distance from the property. I would need to look at the structure of the building in terms of its design and whether this was susceptible to subsidence or not (have I seen this before, after 1000+ subsidence cases). Clay soil or not? There is probably some degree of risk regardless of facts, but what are  you going to recommend? If you don't know what you are doing you may recommend removal of all trees close by. If you have some experience, you might say relax, there is a degree of risk & that is precisely why you take out insurance - there's a risk and you pay the insurance company to worry about it. Based on your visit, the policy holder has done precisely what they have been asked to do and you have told them that no tree works are required. If they don't require anything in writing, even better; just record that you have attended site and recommended no tree work. Give no more details. The more you give, the more risk you take,

 

& then come on my training course with the CAS when we are back to normal & you can learn more!

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Thanks for all the replies! I'm going to ring Aviva and ask so I can actually be useful for the customer and tell them who they need instead of just saying no. 

 

They want advice about if the roots could cause foundation damage in the next two years, that's all. They aren't interested in anything else.

Either way I don't have the experience or knowledge to give advice on this or anything that covered insurance requirements, I was just curious as to the experiences/feedback from others! 

The trees are about 4" and 6" at chest height and there is no way that they could cause foundation damage. The apple tree for example I can almost reach the tips at the top with my hand stood on the ground. 

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Tree mortgage reports are fairly straightforward, site map with trees plotted, tree details/distance from building etc, soil type base upon the British geographical maps, any previous history relating to property/damage.

Lots of cavats of whats not included,covered. 

 

Just make sure you indemnity insurance covers you.

 

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