City tree falls on North End home, resident ordered to pay damages

WINNIPEG – A severe rainstorm that ravaged the city last month left a Winnipegger with severe damage to his home and a big repair bill.

Anthony Fife said that on June 9, strong storm winds toppled a tree and sent it crashing into its roof.

“There is a hole in the roof of the tree where it fell,” Fife explained. “We had water damage, it was raining all the time and it took two hours of waiting on the phone with 311 for them to come and reach them.”

The tree that fell on the roof of Fife was on a property in the city.

He said the city came to clean up the tree and remove the stump, but when Fife filed a claim to cover the cost of the damage, the city sent him a letter telling him he was on the hook.

“We have completed our investigation of your claim and find no liability on behalf of the City of Winnipeg,” the letter from Fife read.

He filed a claim with his insurance company, but he believes the city should have to cover the cost of the damage.

In a statement to CTV, a spokesperson for the city of Winnipeg said:

“Homeowners are encouraged to report any damage to their property insurers to determine if coverage is available to them under their insurance contract. If property insurers believe the city is responsible for the expenses associated with the damage, the contract allows them to seek relief from the city on behalf of the insured owner. “

Fife’s insurance company Wawanesa told CTV News in a statement:

“Most homeowner policyholders in Wawanesa purchase a policy from us that covers damage caused by falling objects and includes damage caused by trees falling on an insured’s home.

“Unfortunately, with the extreme weather conditions brought on by climate change, we are seeing more and more incidences of wind and tree damage.”

Fife believes the city should have to cover its insurance deductible if it is forced to claim damages through its insurer.

“You lose faith in the city at some point,” Fife said. “We just don’t think it’s fair that we are responsible for it ourselves.”

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