Insurance tips for homeowners when wind topples trees

WASHINGTON — Winds gusting up to 60 mph have knocked down trees and limbs, causing scattered damage throughout the D.C. region.

Fortunately, most homeowners’ policies cover the costs of property damage and tree removal.

“Things like a tree falling on their property and so forth is usually covered under the home policy,” said Kendall Bramble, an insurance counselor with AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Damage to cars caused by fallen trees and limbs is covered under the comprehensive portion of auto insurance policies.

When trees cause damage, Bramble said, it’s a good idea to promptly file a claim.

“You can just call your agent, or the company itself, and let them know as soon as possible,” he said. “Take pictures and so forth, if you have to, and get working on that process as soon as possible.”

When trees fall, take steps to prevent more damage, save receipts and prepare a list of lost or damaged property.

Homeowners are sometimes surprised to learn that under some circumstances, they are responsible for paying to have a fallen tree removed from the yard. When a tree falls in your yard but doesn’t strike anything, the homeowner is usually responsible for its removal.

Sometimes your tree can damage a neighbor’s house, or the neighbor’s tree can fall on yours.

“If [your tree] falls on your neighbor’s house, your neighbor’s policy would provide the coverage, and vice versa,” Bramble said.

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Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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