Spring Storms Serve as a Reminder to Review Your Insurance Coverage
One thing I love about North Carolina is that our climate provides us with the four seasons of winter, spring, summer and fall. Although the durations of the seasons differ, we at least get to experience some of all four. These seasons not only produce changes in scenery and temperatures, but they also bring along their seasonal storms. From an insurance standpoint, seasonal storms have a large impact on damage to property caused by trees. So, as the seasons change, let it be a reminder to go outside and look at the trees.
Inevitably, when the wind blows, trees are affected that result in claims. It is advisable for an insured to periodically inspect their property for trees that could cause damage to their home or other structures as well as the possible damage to neighbor’s property. Maybe some trees need to be removed or trimmed to avoid or reduce the opportunity for a claim.
Limbs breaking or trees falling on other’s property can sometimes result in liability claims. As property owners, dead trees and dead limbs need to be removed immediately to avoid being liable for damages resulting from neglecting to maintain your property. A healthy tree falling on someone else’s property does not automatically mean you would be held liable for the damage. The property owner that has damage from a falling tree would need to review their individual policy to see if they have coverage for falling objects.
With storms comes the task of having to clean up after. Another reason to review your policy is for debris removal coverage. In many property policies, there is limited coverage for removing debris. For there to be coverage, typically, a tree has to have fallen on a covered structure – examples would be a house or outbuilding. The policies usually cover removing the debris only from the covered structure. Property policies do not usually cover the cleaning up and removal of debris from the yard.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to read your policies and consult with a licensed insurance agent when you have questions. And it’s just as important for insurance professionals to work constantly to educate their clients on the coverage they have and need.
Please remember, this is a brief article discussing this topic. For additional information on perils insured against and coverage, please consult the policy and related endorsements or contact your local Farm Bureau agent for a confidential insurance review.
– Allan Williams