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Hackney driver left with £3,600 bill after Thames Water tree falls onto his car

PUBLISHED: 14:20 03 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:20 03 July 2020

A Thames Water tree fell on the car. Picture: Submitted

A Thames Water tree fell on the car. Picture: Submitted

Archant

A driver has been left to pick up a bill worth thousands of pounds after a tree fell onto his car in Hackney.

The tree caused £3,600 worth of damage. Picture: SubmittedThe tree caused £3,600 worth of damage. Picture: Submitted

On June 26 a tree owned by Thames Water landed on Kevin Chuter’s car when it was parked on Lordship Road by The Coal House Cafe in the Woodberry Wetlands.

The incident caused damage to the roof and smashed the rear-view window and back lights.

When Kevin discovered the damage on Saturday, June 27, the tree had already been cleared away and, left in the dark about what had happened, he assumed the damage was caused by thieves.

READ MORE: Thames Water slammed by Hackney councillors for response to Finsbury Park flooding

“My initial reaction was to think it had been broken into and I was about to call the police, but a passerby just happened to be going past and asked if it was my car,” said Kevin, who is a graphic designer.

The witness informed Kevin a tree had caused the damage.

After investigating the incident and contacting Thames Water, Kevin was informed the water company will not cover the repair costs, which currently stand at about £3,600.

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His insurance with Esure also does not cover natural accidents. The issue may previously have been called an ‘act of God’ by insurance companies, but according to the AA, that clause is no longer widely used by the industry.

“I haven’t done anything wrong, we just parked in the wrong space at the wrong time,” Kevin said.

“Their tree fell on my car and I have to face the consequences. I find it disgusting that a company like Thames Water wouldn’t pay out for it.

“They won’t feel a couple of grand, and are probably insured for that, but to us, it is a big deal.”

He questioned what would happen if a person had been hurt by the incident, such as one of his four children, who could have been sitting in the back of the car.

Kevin has also asked Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP Diane Abbott to help with the dispute.

A spokesperson from Thames Water said: “Our investigations suggest the tree has been damaged by brute force such as strong winds and did not have a disease or condition which made it vulnerable.

“In such a situation we would not be liable as the damage was not caused by negligence on our part.”

Esure were contacted for comment.


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