3 On Your Side: Who Pays For Tree-Related Damage From Storms?

By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Across the region, clean-up is underway following last night’s wild weather.

Many home and car owners are dealing with aftermath of downed trees. If you’ve experienced tree related damage, 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan has information on filing an insurance claim for repairs.

Trees down in yards, trees down on houses, trees on top of cars — it’s inevitable after a powerful wind storm. But what’s covered by your insurance, and what’s not, depends on a number of factors.

If your tree falls on your house, your insurance company will pay for removal of the tree from your home, and it’s going to repair your home as well.

If your tree falls on your neighbor’s house, your neighbor’s homeowners policy is going to be responsible. It’s considered “an act of God,” and your neighbor should file a claim with their insurance company, and vice versa.

If a tree falls in your yard but doesn’t hit anything, in most cases, it’s up to you to pay for its removal.

Finally, if your car gets hit by a tree or damaged by flying limbs, you need to file a claim against your vehicle’s comprehensive coverage.

By the way, if you have a tree that’s in bad shape — maybe it has stress cracks, weak branches, or hollow or decayed areas — and you don’t do anything about it, you could be held liable if it comes crashing down. So if you dodged a bullet this time around, you may want to deal with those dangerous trees now, before your luck runs out.

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