SEATTLE – A gust of wind tears through your yard, ripping down branches and toppling trees. Your house, garage, deck, and car lie right in the storm’s path and before you know it one of those trees comes square down on your property. Now what?
These kinds of weather events are unnerving and overwhelming, especially when you experience the damaging effects.
Anytime we see high winds and heavy rains, clients call concerned about coverage. To help ease some of the burden, Insurance Services Group put together a list of helpful tips when it comes to fallen trees and homeowner claims:
Safety is first and foremost. If anyone is injured or trapped, call 911.
Once you ensure everyone’s safety, it’s important to assess the situation and mitigate any further damage from happening.
Snap a few photos first before anything is removed. This will help if a claim needs to be filed.
Your next call should be to your insurance carrier. They should you through the claims process, explain what’s covered and what may not be covered, and may provide referrals for tree removal and cleanup services.
If you have the ability to start the cleanup process, do what you can to limit further damage. In many cases, cleanup crews will arrive on scene well before an insurance adjustor. It’s important to keep receipts of any work that is done and share those receipts with your carrier.
If a tree falls in your driveway, blocking access to the garage and cars, but not causing damage to your home, cars, or other structures on the property, you may not have protection. Each carrier and each policy is different. It’s important to talk to your agent and ask them what kind, if any, coverage they provide for this kind of scenario.
If you have questions about what is and is not included in your homeowner policy, please don’t hesitate to call our agency. With offices in Edmonds, Sequim, Lacey, and Port Hadlock – our insurance team is more than happy to walk you through the process of getting your home, your business, or your car properly protected.
(Photo courtesy: Snohomish County Fire District 7)