2013-07-26 / Front Page

What do we do now?

Photos and story By Mimi M. Maddock


Several trees fell and hit houses on Lee Street. Several trees fell and hit houses on Lee Street. Due to the recent storms and downed trees and the major cleanup going on in our city, I asked Betsy Porter, CPCU AAI, of Neace Lukens An Assured Partners Company, for information about insurance policies and who the responsible parties are for removing the trees.

What is my insurance company responsible for:

Q. If a tree in my yard falls on my house?

A. If a tree falls on your home, the homeowners policy will respond if the cause of loss is one of the covered perils.

Q. If a tree in my yard falls on my car?

A. If a tree falls on your car, the primary source of coverage would be your automobile policy under your comprehensive coverage.

Q. If a tree on my property falls in my yard?

A. If a tree falls in your yard, it could be an act of God. Your insurance adjuster would have to make the determination.

Q. If a tree in my yard falls on a neighbor’s house or any of the neighbor’s property?


A tree on a property on Preston Street hit a roof on another property. A tree on a property on Preston Street hit a roof on another property. A. If a tree in your yard falls on a neighbor’s property, this would become an issue of liability. Once again the adjuster would have to review the situation and make the determination.

Q. If a tree on my property falls in the road and blocks traffic?

A. If a tree of yours falls in the road, the city or county would probably clean up the debris. Depending on the circumstances and coverage, there could be limited coverage.

Q. If a tree on my property falls on power lines?

A. The power company would remove tree limbs from downed lines, but an electrician would have to reconnect lines to the building.

Properties in coastal areas should be aware of large deductibles since the property owner would be responsible for paying first before the insurance carrier would take responsibility for its share.

Now is a good time for each homeowner to review his/her policies with an insurance agent to confirm the policies have the broadest coverage available. Each policy has different features, and some carry limited amounts for trees, shrubs, and plants. A review once a year is a good place to begin.

If a person has no insurance, in some cases the American Red Cross, churches, and volunteers have provided help.

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