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Whose Insurance Pays For Fallen Tree Damage From Hurricane Irene?

CBS 2's Scott Rapoport Gets Answers From Insurance Expert
Tree down in Bedford  (credit: CBS 2)

Tree down in Bedford (credit: CBS 2)

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Irene

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Even though Hurricane Irene blew out of the Tri-State Area days ago, residents are trying to cope with all the damage Irene left behind.

While area residents try to clean up the huge mess caused by Irene, many are checking their insurance policies so they can start filing claims.

But there are questions that need to be answered like who pays for the damage to your home if it’s caused by a neighbor’s tree?

Cindy Swank of Bedford may be wondering just that. Two enormous trees were ripped from their roots in her Bedford yard and threatened her home, CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport reported. She told Rapoport her first thought was,”Oh let’s hope the insurance pays for it.”

Swank is not alone in hoping her tree damage is covered. Several Tri-State residents have had huge trees crash into their homes, and would assume they are covered by insurance. But what happens if the tree came from a neighbor’s property? Who is responsible since it was an Act of God? Who pays for the damage?

Rapoport asked Jeanne Salvatore of the Insurance Information Institute that very question. “If the tree falls on your house you would file a claim with your own insurance company. And your own insurance company will pay the claim,” said Salvatore.

The only slight exception? If your neighbor was somehow negligent, said Salvatore. “If it’s clearly that the neighbors tree fell because the neighbor did not maintain the tree, then it’s possible that your insurance company might try to collect against your neighbors insurance company.”

Salvatore added that policy holders are also covered for fallen tree damage to your personal belongings inside the house.

Have you had to file an insurance claim for Hurricane Irene? Let us know below