The tornado that swept through Cape Cod and other parts of Eastern Massachusetts on July 23rd caused some serious property damage. The storm took down a lot of trees, leaving many homeowners with pressing questions about their insurance coverage and possible solutions.
Here are some of the top tips we have been sharing with these homeowners:
Take a look at your homeowner’s insurance policy – it’s likely the standard HO-3 policy, with whatever endorsements and deductibles you elected to include in the most recent renewal discussion with your insurance agent.
There are two issues with a tree that has fallen on your house: 1. Getting the tree off your house; and 2. Disposing of the tree once it’s on the ground.
Your HO-3 should provide coverage for virtually any reasonable expense related to taking the tree off the structure and getting it to the ground. Once it’s on the ground, however, coverage for removal stops. Now you’re looking at “debris removal” coverage to dispose of the on-the-ground tree.
Your policy likely only covers $1,000 total for such debris removal. It’s important to note that that $1,000 covers the total cost of removing all trees that are on the ground – regardless of how many there are. We recently had a homeowner call us with 25 fallen trees on the ground, and tree removal services were looking to charge $500 per tree for removal.
That quickly becomes a big number.
If you have trees on your house or in your yard, give Swerling Milton Winnick a call. We can help you maximize your coverage for such events.