Tree insurance claims

The responsibility for the maintenance and care of trees rests with the owner who is liable for any claims for compensation and you should contact them directly. If you believe the tree is causing subsidence you should contact them directly.

You must contact your own insurance company who will in turn provide arboricultural evidence about a particular tree, as well as structural evidence of building damage in support of any potential claim. 

In order to evaluate and decide the likely cause of damage due to subsidence, we require the following information:

  • a structural report with a formal description of the damages
  • positive tree root identification (necessary to identify the species and location of any trees involved)
  • soil analysis
  • 12 months crack monitoring - this shows the cyclical movement relating to the seasonal growth of vegetation as opposed to the effect of defective drainage or other causes

All of the above information is usually in a report provided by a Chartered Surveyor, who is employed on behalf of the freeholder's buildings insurance company. If you do not want to pay for a surveyor's report yourself it is essential that you contact your insurance company. Please note that Southwark Council cannot pay for any excess to be paid on an insurance subsidence policy.

If tree roots are proven to be a cause of damage, we will take action to abate further nuisance; in the meantime, we may look to take pre-emptive action, such as remedial pruning.

However, each case is unique and needs to be evaluated on a case by case basis.

It's the policy of Southwark Council to preserve the green amenity afforded by street trees and we seek to retain them wherever practicable

In some cases, trees may have to be removed. However, in order to both maintain amenity and guard against possible heave, a replacement tree may be planted of a smaller and less vigorous species.

Page last updated: 04 October 2017