After severe weather hits, one of the biggest problems our clients deal with is damage from downed trees. The biggest question we hear is “Who is responsible?” The confusion makes a stressful situation even worse, especially when disgruntled neighbors are involved. Here’s what you need to know if you’re dealing with damage from trees:
1) Your Tree Damaged Someone’s Property
Your neighbor’s home or auto insurance policy will cover that home or car if they have the appropriate coverage. You nor your insurance provider is initially responsible to cover someone else’s property. It’s also a good idea to consult your agent if your neighbor is requesting your insurance policy number.
2) Someone’s Tree Damaged Your Property
If your neighbor’s tree damages your home, other structure, or car, then your insurance policy is engaged to recover your loss. Normally your deductible would apply, but there could be additional coverage for debris removal. Contact your agent for their professional advice- you always want to get an estimate of the damage before you file a claim.
3) Your Tree Damaged Your Property
Again, your own insurance policy would apply in this situation. Your particular plan could include coverage for debris removal, which is why it’s important to contact your agent before filing a claim. At Cincinnatus it’s our mission to be an advocate for our clients in the claims process, and to advise when needed.
4) Your Tree Falls with Zero Damage
Does your insurance carrier pay for the removal of a downed tree on your property? That varies widely from carrier to carrier based on the policy and endorsements in place. Most commonly for tree removal, insurance carriers require that the tree needs to be resting against a structure or blocking a driveway. Your best course of action would be to contact your agent for their professional advice.
Maintenance is Key
As a responsible homeowner, it’s a good idea to routinely walk around your property and give your trees a visual assessment. Are there any dead branches? Does it look like there is any insect damage to the tree trunk? Calling an arborist out to your property is also smart if you’re unsure about the health of your trees.
How We Can Help
Severe weather is a common occurrence in Greater Cincinnati. Following this advice is a way to be proactive and protect yourself and others. As always, your agent at Cincinnatus Insurance is a great resource if you have any tree-related questions. We always want you and your family to be safe. Do you have the insurance you need? Feel free to call our office to ask about your protections. Call today at 513-587-3553.
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