A fallen tree and the seeming illogic of homeowners insurance

A lot of you probably remember the crazy weather we had a few weeks ago.  Ellie and I won’t soon forget it.

Winds that were estimated at between 70 and 80 miles per hour blew through Fort Smith, into our neighborhood here, and up against a 150-year-old oak tree that had been watching over our front yard since long before we moved in.  Fortunately, the wind was blowing parallel to the house, not against it.

Snap went the tree, whose trunk, we soon discovered, was mostly hollow.  It shattered in splinters at about the five-foot-point above the ground, sending most of the tree as we knew it crashing down across our driveway.

I contacted a tree guy to come out chop it up, mainly to get it off the driveway and possibly to glean some firewood from it.  The guy got his chainsaw and started cutting, but then he stopped when he discovered several honey bee nests – or, more importantly, several honey bee swarms.

Too bad the wind couldn’t have whipped up again and blown the bees somewhere else.

Well, to make a long story short, we managed to chop up the tree as thoroughly as possible and clear the driveway.  Afterward, the tree guy looked over at my house, which sits 90 degrees from the direction the tree fell, and said, “Good thing it went in the direction it did.”

Without thinking I said, “But if it fell into the house, I’d be looking at a forty- to fifty-thousand-dollar check from the insurance company.”

Of course I was joking.  The last thing I needed was for the front of my home to be destroyed, letting in the elements to create further destruction and possibly spook the dogs and cause them to bolt off the property.  Yes, I have homeowners insurance, and I have paid who knows how much into it over the years.  But I certainly never want to make a claim.

That’s the funny thing about insurance: it’s the only “investment” for which you never stop paying, all the while hoping you never get a return.


Nick & Ellie