Scenes of destruction can be seen throughout the state. So what happens if one of your trees falls on your neighbor’s property?
“The tree owner is not responsible. They’re not considered responsible for [an] act of god,” said Poindexter. “So in which case the neighbor’s insurance will cover it in most cases.”
Poindexter says the neighbors should contact their own insurance company for coverage and only if they can prove the tree owner was negligent will the owner be liable.
“If you’re negligent, the neighbor could document that they have actually put in complaints or they felt the tree was rotten something like that and it should have been removed,” explained Poindexter.
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If the tree hits a house or other structure, insurance should cover repairs and removal of the tree, but if it doesn’t hit anything clean up. Costs may not be covered unless the policy contains debris removal coverage which is pretty cheap.
“It may add $1.50, $3.00 a month to your policy,” said Poindexter. “It’s a very insignificant increase.”
Removing a tree can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Another thing people need to know is if a tree falls on your car, you need to have comprehensive insurance to cover that.
That’s usually part of full coverage not just as liability insurance. Claims which are an act of god don’t affect insurance rates.
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This past winter, Poindexter got a lot of calls because the Deep River area was hit hard by those storms.
“Each one the power was out about two days at a time,” said Poindexter. “We had people where trees hit their garage, downed power lines so they had food spoilage, everything.”
Poindexter suggests renters get renters insurance because, if a tree goes through a window, the landlord’s policy won’t cover damage to the tenant’s personal property just like it won’t cover it in a fire.