In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many residents of the tri-state area are facing devastating losses along with the daunting task of rebuilding their lives. The major damages were caused by tidal flooding and trees falling due to high winds.
Many insurance policies impose a hurricane deductible which can range from 1 to 5 percent of the policy value. So, if your home is worth $500,000, a 5 percent hurricane deductible would amount to $25,000. Fortunately, officials in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are fighting this with the insurance companies. They point out that the storm did not have hurricane force winds when it came ashore. We will keep you posted on this important debate as it develops.
We have received many questions regarding tree damage caused by the storm as it pertains to homeowners insurance. The rule is that if a tree falls and hits and damages your home, your insurance company will pay to fix the damages and remove the tree, regardless of whose property the tree fell from. If it lands on the ground or landscaping, not causing damage to the house or any other structures on the property, you will have to pay to remove it yourself. If the tree falls and hits electrical wires, the local power company is responsible for the removal.
If a tree looks like it is rotting and it falls, this can be considered negligence by the homeowner and the insurance company may dispute the claim. With winter fast approaching, it would be a good idea to have a tree company evaluate the trees on your property and remove any that are not healthy. This may save you money and headaches in the future. Also, be sure to alert your neighbors to any unhealthy looking trees that may threaten your home during future storms.