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Valley woman faces dilemma after someone else's tree damages her property

Posted at 9:44 AM, Sep 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-27 20:17:01-04

If you live along a golf course, you can expect some stray balls every now and then.

And there may be some minor damage.

But Pat let me know about some major damage at her house after a recent monsoon storm.

"It was one of the better ones and I normally like storms," she says.

Pat says the wind was blowing hard and the trees were making such a noise, she didn't hear part of her fence falling down.

Branches from a tree outside her property fell, taking out a couple of fence panels.

Pat says the tree caused some minor damage before and she reported it.

But this time she says "it appears I'll have to replace the whole section because it can't be joined up."

Pat says she had it checked out and it will cost about $2,000.

She has homeowner's insurance, but the deductible she'd have to pay is the same amount, $2,000.

"I really hadn't budgeted for a $2,000 expenditure, and I am on a fixed income and retired," Pat says.

But why would Pat have to pay anything?

The tree isn't on her property.

It's on the Western Skies Golf Course.

Pat says she tried contacting her HOA and the golf course, even making a trip there in person, but could get no attention.

So, Pat Let me know.

"I just want to know if it's my responsibility then fine I'll take care of it. But I strongly feel it has to be the golf course," she says.

What should happen if damage comes from another property?

Your homeowner's insurance should cover it.

"The insurer will likely talk to the other property owner and look to get reimbursed," says Janet Ruiz.

Ruiz is with the Insurance Information Institute.

She says while you still have to pay a deductible, if your insurer tries to get payment from the responsible parties' insurer, "then your deductible may be refunded to you as well."

The property management for Pat's HOA tells us the tree is "on the golf course".

They say that means "there was no preventative maintenance the HOA could have done."

Then we heard back from the golf course.

The general manager says "this is the first I'm hearing about this."

He met with Pat, took a look at the fence, and had some great news for her.

Pat writes "they are going to replace the fence for me. I am so happy. It was an expense that I would have had a hard time covering."

What a great lady!

And thanks to Western Skies Golf Course for stepping up.

We will be out there once again when the fence is up.

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