May 22, 2011 19:04 ET

How Tree Roots and Plants Could Affect Your Home Insurance

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - May 23, 2011) -

One of the UK's leading Insurance companies is advising homeowners to control any plants and roots on their property in case they over grow and damage their own house or neighbouring properties.

Swinton home insurance is informing people that if their land has trees or other large plants growing on it, the roots could cause damage to their neighbours' home which could mean they'd be liable to pay the cost of repairing the damage. Roots from plants and trees can cause serious damage to the foundations of a building and excessive growth can also block light, so it is important that they are kept under control.

Swinton is offering the following information about common plant and root growth problems:

  • Overhanging Branches – A property owner has the right to cut off any branches of a tree or plant owned by a neighbour which overhangs on their property, but before doing so, Swinton advises that you inform your neighbour of your intentions.
  • Tree Root Damage – If a person who owns land has a tree or other plants growing on it and the roots cause damage to neighbouring properties, they may be liable to pay the cost of repairing the damage. The liability will depend on whether or not the damage was reasonably foreseeable. Once informed of any damage caused by tree roots, the person owning the land with the trees on must take steps to prevent further damage.
  • Trees and Plants Blocking Light - Houses in many residential developments are built close together; this can reduce the amount of daylight every home receives. The problem can be made worse if neighbours allow trees or other plants to grow and block the light from windows. If your windows are obstructed by a neighbours' plants or trees, Swinton advises that you inform your neighbour to try and reconcile the problem amicably. If the neighbour refuses to trim the plant or tree, then professional advice should be sought.

Steve Chelton, Insurance Development Manager at Swinton said, "It is important to maintain tree/plant growth and actively look out for potential root damage if it is foreseeable. Whether you are covered for tree, plant and root damage will depend on your standard buildings insurance policy so we advise that you check with your insurance provider."

About Swinton

  • With over 600 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK's largest high street insurance retailer
  • Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and part of the community
  • Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike and even classic car insurance.

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