Georgia's Most Common Storm Damage Questions
Storm damage can be a complicated subject when it comes to filing insurance claims and assessing coverage. Many people have questions about how to handle storm damage in Georgia. The good people at the Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commission have some answers for commonly asked questions. If you have questions about your coverage or filing a claim, we would recommend reaching out to your insurance provider for clarification. If you have suffered any type of storm damage to your home or business you can also call SERVPRO of Marietta West and we can help you file a claim with most major insurance providers. The Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commission can investigate issues and fields complaints insurance fire claims.
The following are some commonly asked questions about storm damage coverage:
- Tree Falling on Neighbor’s Property
In this scenario a tree on homeowner “A’s” property falls and damages homeowner “B’s” house and/or other property. Is homeowner “A” responsible for his neighbor, homeowner “B’s” property damage?
If the tree was not dead or dying and/or an imminent hazard before it fell, homeowner “A” is probably not liable for their neighbor’s damages. If homeowner “A” is not legally responsible for the damages their insurance company will most likely not pay for homeowner “B’s” repairs. If homeowner “A” had prior knowledge that the tree was dead, diseased, or otherwise an imminent hazard they could be held responsible or legally liable for damages and or injuries.
- Neighbor Ignores Warning of Hazardous Tree
In this scenario homeowner “A” informs homeowner “B” that a tree on homeowner “B’s” property is dead or otherwise a hazard. Homeowner “B” ignores this advice and the tree eventually falls onto homeowner “A’s” property. Who’s homeowner’s insurance policy should cover the damage?
If homeowner “B” did in fact ignore homeowner “A’s” advice and damages resulted due to homeowner “B’s” inaction, this scenario demonstrates probable negligence and homeowner “B’s” insurance might cover the damages. To obtain a quick settlement, homeowner “A” can file a claim with their own insurance company if the tree fell as a result of a covered peril and damaged property covered under the homeowner’s policy. Homeowner “A’s” insurance company will eventually collect from homeowner “B’s” carrier for the damage, including homeowner “A’s” deductible.
- Homeowner’s Tree Falls in Homeowner’s Yard
In this scenario a homeowner has a tree fall in their yard and has a company cut up and remove the tree from the yard. Will their homeowner’s insurance cover the cleanup cost?
Coverage for “debris removal” is part of many homeowner’s policies, which would cover trees as a type of debris to be disposed of assuming that the loss is determined to be covered by the insurance provider. In many cases when determining coverage, If the tree is blown over in the yard and causes no damage to a covered structure (i.e. house, fence, porch, ect) then there may be issues with coverage.
- Trees, Shrubs, and Lawn Coverage
In this scenario a homeowner goes to great lengths when it comes to landscaping and lawncare. They have some very nice trees and shrubbery on their property. Are their trees and shrubs covered by their homeowner’s policy?
Certain losses like damage or loss by fire, lightning, explosions, riots or civil unrest, aircraft, vehicles (not owned or operated by the insured or resident of the dwelling), vandalism, malicious mischief or theft, will allow for some policy coverage for trees, shrubs, plants and lawns. In most cases coverage is limited to $500 per any one tree, shrub, etc. and is not to exceed 5% of the dwelling policy limit. Damage and loss of trees or shrubs caused by wind and hail is typically not covered.
If you or someone you know has suffered storm damage in the Cobb County area, call SERVPRO of Marietta West today! We are the storm cleanup professionals you’ve been looking for. We offer transparent and upfront pricing with SERVPRO’s untouchable service warranty. Call SERVPRO of Marietta West and let us make it “Like it never even happened”!