Neighbor Problem - What would you do?

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  1. When the hurricane came last week, a perfectly healthy tree in my back yard came down, broke through the fence and landed with the top of tree in my neighbors back yard. We were lucky, no structures were involved, just the fence, the tree, and our back lawns. He was vacationing when this happened, another neighbor came to check on his house, called him on his vacay, and then came to us with the vacay phone number, asking us to call the neighbor. We explained our cell phones, and landline (which was vonage and through my computer) were not working, as cable and internet were out all over the block. DH said he would call neighbor from work the next day, if the phones didn't come back before then.

    Monday came, DH called, neighbor was so glad there wasn't any 'real damage' thrilled that the power had not gone out so the food in his freezer wouldn't spoil, and both DH and neighbor were calling the insurance companies. Turns out we both have the same insurance co. DH called our insurance agent, Hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm when it hit the state, so instead of mandatory $18,000 deductible, our regular $250 would apply, and we were covered for what was in our backyard, and our neighbor's policy would cover what was in his yard.

    Everything was amicable between the households, however neighbor said his insurance co, said we were responsible and our insurance would have to pay his claim. They are both the same company (I repeat to stress this). After another call to our respective agents, neighbor was told what we were told originally...each policy was responsible for our respect damages. Neighbor was apologetic, we said no problem. We started getting estimates for the tree removal (from our side), and sent our tree guys over to see the neighbors damage and leave estimates in his mailbox for his cleanup. (DH had told neighbor he would do this as a favor, since he was not here to get estimates, and getting tree guys was not easy, they are all so busy)

    Saturday morning, neighbor comes over and says he spent 2 hours on the phone with insurance co, we are responsible. DH gets on the phone, gets through to the actual Disaster Claim rep in charge of all these claims for the company, and assures us what landed in our property is covered under our policy and what landed in his, is his. He sent an email to this effect for DH. DH called neighbor, said he just got the info from the guy who approves the claims, and is forwarding the email to neighbor. Neighbor is still sounding fine, no animosity. After DH sent the email, neighbor called the Insurance guy from the info on the forwarded email, and is told the same thing. Now comes the problem. This morning we got a rude email from neighbor, complaining that since his deductible is 1000 it doesn't pay for him to put in a claim. Turns our he wants us to file a false insurance claim, so he can get paid too from our policy. He says it is the neighborly thing to do and he would do it for us. This neighbor has NOTHING to do with us on a social or neighborly basis. Hosts loud pool parties till 2:30 am with the whole culdesac invited except for us. Our relationship with him is to wave outside.

    DH wrote back, that we are not to blame that his deductible is high, he has enjoyed smaller premiums because of the high deductible, while we have been paying higher premiums for the lower deductible. We are not going to circumvent insurance laws. We are already taking down a tree in our backyard (at our own expense) because he was afraid it was too close to where he plans to build an "expensive pool house". He got quotes for $350 to clear away and remove his debris, and then said he might just do it himself.

    He had someone come and cut up his part of the tree, and then proceeded to bring out all the debris, and put it in front of our house at the curb. The town will not pick up debris from the hurricane unless it is bagged, or tied up in neat bundles with string. So because he has a high deductible, and we won't commit insurance fraud, he dumps all the crap in front of our house for us to deal with? I'm sorry this is so long,but I am just very upset by his attempt at bullying us, and now that it will cost me more, that isn't covered by insurance to remove what naturally fell in his yard. I really needed to vent. Sorry this was so long.:tdown:
  2. Well, the tree was rooted in your yard, right? These storm situations are tough on everybody and tempers can easily flair.

    I can't see the township enforcing the bundling requirement. They'll probably have contractors come around with claw trucks and bill the work to FEMA.

    OK, so the guy ain't the world's best neighbor, but this is the kind of thing that could make it worse.
  3. Thanks Echoes, you're probably right about contractors picking up the curbside debris. That makes me feel better.

    I'm trying to do the right thing as a neighbor, when he said he was really tired of cleaning the leaves from a different tree, and afraid this different tree could someday fall and land in a pool house his is planning to build, I agreed to spend 600 out of pocket to remove this other tree that doesn't even have limbs over his property. Again, it is a perfectly healthy tree in my yard. But it bothers him, and I agreed to remove it. I am covering the fence with our insurance claim, but I am really angry that he asked us to commit insurance fraud because he didn't want to pay 375 for cleanup. I had half a mind to ask him if he wanted me to pay for the removal of the tree that offends him, or leave the tree up and pay for his storm clean up. These trees were here long before we had our house built, and he saw them in my backyard when he bought his house. Why did he build his pool in that section of the yard, did he not realize that the wind comes and blows leaves into other people's yards? (BTW, I have two small pretty trees near the shared property line in the front. After the lawn company (we both use the same one) comes and mows the lawn, if any leaves fall from the trees and blow into his front lawn, he or his wife comes out with their lawn blower and blows all the leaves onto our front lawn, even walking into our yard to do it. I have seen this happen time and time again. I just shake my head and wonder.

    I am sorry for the rant, but I am very upset by this arm twisting, and don't react well to bullies.
  4. Just another reason to live deep in the country --- no next door neighbors.

  5. ^ Oh you can say that again!!! It is even worse staying in apt building were you have even more neighbors...:wacko:

    OP sorry about this, sounds like a mess. I say stick to your ground. My neighbor asked me to do a fraud as well (we had a small problem with plumbing) so she would pocket money and I refused. I can help her in other ways, I have a lot of storage space and I have many of her things in there, and storage in my city is very expensive. Imho anyone else would ask for rent.

    So just say no to his unreasonable requests. But be polite because unfortunately we all have to live with our neighbors. Your best bet is your insurance agent, ask him for his advice, I'm sure he deals with similar situations all the time.

    As for debris in the front of the house, I'm sure under the circumstances the city will pick it up anyway, don't worry about it.
  6. That is very nice of you lily to let her use your storage space. I lived in an apartment, and I stored so much at my mother's, I can appreciate what you are doing for her.
  7. This is no doubt correct. When Charley hit our house, even though it took some time and the debris sat in front of our house for a long time, it eventually got cleaned up by the big claw trucks.

    And as for your neighbor who wanted you to make a false claim, it would have been interesting if you told him to put his request to you in writing so that you could submit it to your insurance company for their files.
  8. I'd forward the email where he asked you to commit insurance fraud to your agent and explain the trouble you're having with him. };)
  9. While I would love to do that, I still have to live here. I can just brush off his attitude that he gets special treatment from the rest of us peasants, and just be glad that we didn't knuckle under to the pressure. I feel better than I did last night, I have seen debris just like what is in front of my house from the neighbor, all over the town. I'm sure, as Echoes and Compass Rose pointed out, they'll come along with special trucks for the cleanup.

    I am also very pleased with the email DH sent, pointing out basically 'no one made him take $1000 deductible. We're removing the tree that bothers you, so STFU and SIT DOWN'. DH is very eloquent, and gets his point across without profanity. Oh, and DH pointed out that neighbor sent the offending email at 12:20 in the morning, Saturday night, so knowing him, he had a few drinks in him and was being stupid.

    Thanks everyone for letting me vent, and making me feel better. As DH told the neighbor, there are thousands of families that weren't as lucky as our neighborhood, we escaped with very little damage, and should be happy for what we have. tPF rocks. :heart:
  10. ^^^ good for you guys seeing this as glass half full. :tup: