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Ashes to Ashes: Swinton Offers Advice to Homeowners During the UK Ash Tree Crisis

LONDON, UNITED KINDGOM -- (Marketwire) -- 11/22/12 -- As the ash tree crisis spreads, Swinton, the UK's leading high street retailer of online home insurance, is offering advice to concerned homeowners with policies that do not cover them for the removal of trees.

Ash dieback, a deadly disease infecting ash trees, has already been identified in around 184 sites around Britain with most of the cases being found in East Anglia, and with homeowners left facing fees of up to GBP 1000 for removal of the trees.

Homeowners are being advised that although standard home insurance with third-party cover will cover you if your tree's roots cause subsidence at yours or your neighbours home, it will not cover you for tree diseases which could leave you facing costly felling or removal fees.

With this in mind, Swinton is offering the following expert advice to homeowners who are concerned about not being covered for the cost of removing diseased ash trees:

- Seek advice. If you are not sure whether you have ash trees on your premises, or if you suspect your ash has dieback, contact the Forestry Commission which may order you to have it removed or destroyed Your council's tree officer can also advise in the first instance.

- Know your cover. Contact your insurer and check your level of cover. Standard home insurance with third-party cover will offer protection for subsidence caused by roots, while if a neighbour's tree damages your property you could also be entitled to cover, with the costs being recouped from your neighbour if negligence can be proved on their part.

You are also likely to be covered if your tree or its branched fall and damage yours or a neighbour's home or injure somebody.

- Maintain your trees. Tend to any trees on your property regularly, keeping branches trimmed, and checking for any warning signs of disease such as cracked, dead timber or rot. Consult a tree surgeon or get a professional to survey

- Know what is safe to plant. Aggressive weeds such as Japanese knotweed can cause severe structural damage to a property, so make sure you know what you are planting.

Steve Chelton, Claims Manager at Swinton, said: "Most homeowners probably wouldn't think that having cover for their trees was a necessity. However, as the recent ash tree crisis shows, if left unchecked something like this can prove costly in the long-term.

"We would advise homeowners to check their home insurance cover so that they are fully aware of what is covered by their policy. We would also recommend that if in doubt, homeowners should seek advice from a professional tree surgeon or the Forestry Commission before having an ash tree removed."

About Swinton

--  With 553 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK's largest high street
    insurance retailer 
--  Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton
    is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and part of the
--  Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of
    its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike
    and even classic car insurance 
--  With a dedicated team of advisors on hand at every branch to search a
    panel of insurers to offer quality cover at competitive rates 

SKV Communications
Mairead Rodden, Lucy Gordon or Alyssa Harrison
0161 838 7770

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