Whose Responsibility Is A Downed Tree?
|By Jenny Dehuff, Philadelphia Daily News|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
That's the question the
Many in the city were lucky to escape the power outages that affected swaths of the city and badly hit the suburbs -- but those with saplings and shrubbery around their homes had a different experience.
"It's tough because we can't control the fact we have so many trees, but it's very dangerous during storms like this," said
"It generally doesn't matter whether a fallen tree originated on your property. If it landed on your house, you should file a claim with your insurance company," she said. "If there's no damage, you still might be able to refer to your policy. You may have coverage to clean up the fallen tree."
In some cases, she said, insurance companies work together on subrogation, in which one insurance company recovers from another. Poorly maintained trees in yards are red flags for risk, she said -- that's when liability comes into play.
"If the tree hits an insured structure but there's no damage, you likely do not have coverage for tree removal, unless the tree has fallen in such a way that it blocks a passageway into your house," she said. "It's always best to ask your agent or company about your specific policy."
Some policies even cover spoiled food due to power outages, she said.
"Your insurance company knows how to handle these sorts of situations. It's their job."
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