Since this is “Masters” week and I have Georgia on my mind, for today’s blog I will summarize the statute of limitations in Georgia for a property insurance loss.

Under Georgia law, the statute of limitations for a breach of insurance policy is six (6) years.1 However, in Georgia, the statute of limitations can be shortened by the insurance policy. For example, courts have held that a one year period for commencement of an action based on an insurance policy is valid and enforceable.2 A reasonable time period will be enforceable, but a shorter limitation than the statutory period for commencing suits is unreasonable if it raises a presumption of imposition or undue advantage in some way.3

Back to the Masters and golf…one interesting news story caught my attention as I was listening to the pre-tournament coverage on the radio during my drive to the office this week. The “Eisenhower Tree” which was on the left side of the fairway of the par 4 17th hole at Augusta National Golf Club, approximately 210 yards from the tee box, had to be removed before the Masters last year because of a damaging ice storm that hit Augusta, Georgia in February 2014. This pine tree stood 65 feet tall, was estimated to be 100 to 125 years old and was named after Dwight Eisenhower, the former U.S. president who was a member at Augusta from 1948-1969.

Here is a “before” picture of the tree:

According to the Augusta Chronicle,4 the tree’s removal did not significantly affect golfers’ scores on the 17th hole during last year’s event:

Masters Tournament officials closely monitored how the hole played in 2014, but found very little difference from the year before. The difference in scoring was miniscule as the hole played to an average of 4.24 in 2014 as compared to 4.22 in 2013.

There was a slight decrease in the number of birdies (22, down from 25) and pars (185, down from 197) and there were more bogeys (85, up from 81).

Historically, the 440-yard par-4 has played to an average of 4.15 since the club began keeping records in 1942. That makes it the 10th hardest hole overall.

It has now been one year since the tree was removed and, according to the Augusta Chronicle, Augusta National Golf Club has no plans to replace the tree but is deciding how to honor the landmark:5

We are in the process of determining how to permanently commemorate and remember this wonderful part of our history,” Augusta National and Masters chairman Billy Payne said at his annual media session in 2014. “Needless to say, there are many important constituencies: The Eisenhower Library, the golf world, our own Eisenhower Cabin, the 17th hole itself, all of our past champions, and of course members of Augusta National Golf Club. Once again, we will take our time, and hopefully we will get it right.”

Enjoy Masters week and some theme music:

1 Ga. Code Ann., § 9-3-24; Childs v. Armour Food Co., 175 Ga. App. 455, 333 S.E.2d 377 (1985)
2 Gravely v. Southern Trust Ins. Co.,151 Ga.App. 93, 258 S.E.2d 753 (1979)
3 Lanier v. Coastal States Life Ins. Co., 106 Ga. App. 802, 128 S.E.2d 550 (1962); General Elec. Credit Corp. v. Home Indem. Co., 168 Ga. App. 344, 309 S.E.2d 152 (1983).
5 Id.