City tree falls on North End home, resident on the hook for damages

A heavy rainstorm that tore through the city last month left one Winnipegger with severe damage to his home and a large repair bill.

Anthony Fife said on June 9, heavy storm winds toppled a tree and sent it crashing into his roof.

"There's a hole in the roof from the tree where it fell," explained Fife. "We had water damage, it was raining the whole time and it was a two-hour wait on the phone with 311 to get through to them to come."

The tree that fell onto Fife's roof was on city property.

He said the city came to clean up the tree and removed the stump, but when Fife filed a claim to cover the cost of damages, 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," read Fife from the letter.

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

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

"Property owners are advised to report any damages to their property insurers to determine if coverage is available to them under their contract of insurance. If the property insurers believe the city is responsible for expenses associated with the damages, the contract allows them to seek recovery from the city, on behalf of the insured property owner."

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

"Most Wawanesa homeowners policyholders do purchase a policy from us that provides coverage for damage caused by falling objects and that includes damage caused by trees that fall on a policyholder's home."

"Unfortunately, with the severe weather brought about by climate change, we are seeing more and more incidences of damage caused by wind and trees."

Fife believes the city should have to cover his insurance deductible if he's forced to claim damage through his insurer.

"You lose faith in the city at some point," said Fife. "We just feel it's not fair for us to take the brunt of that on ourselves."