Fallen Trees a Point of Concern As Winter Winds Down

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  • The winter weather that ravaged many parts of the country in the past few months have been a major point of concern for insurers and homeowners alike. Unfortunately, it seems as though neither one is quite out of the woods yet. In much the same way that heavy snow and ice can bring down tree limbs onto homes and other property, the same is true of the high winds that can come in the early spring. As such, insurance agents will have to be prepared for more claims in the weeks to come even if the worst of it is now over.

    Many consumers may not yet be free of the grips of this brutal winter – which recent data suggests has cost insurers as much as $5 billion in claims since the start of the year alone – while others are moving into the milder weather of spring, but still facing concerns from falling branches that can do major damage to their properties, according to a report from McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. Of course, not all home insurance policies are the same, and as such both agents and consumers alike will have to be sure of exactly what is and isn’t covered as a result of such accidents.

    Studying up is very important
    In general, all involved in the claims process should be aware that regardless of the place from which a branch fell, if it hits and damages a policyholder’s property, they will likely be able to make a claim on it, the report said. That includes free-standing garages and other such structures, as well as the contents of any such building. In addition, consumers that want the tree that either shed a branch or fell down removed, they may be able to have their insurers cover at least part of the cost of doing so as well, as long as it hit an insured structure. If the branch or tree didn’t make contact, it’s unlikely that removal costs would be on a policy.

    With the seasons changing, it might also be helpful at this time for insurance agents to make sure they’re highlighting the value their policies can provide to consumers, as many may now be on the lookout to trim their coverage costs. The more that can be done to attract new customers, the better it may be for professionals trying to improve their standing.