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Insurance, tree professionals answer common questions that come with damaging severe storms

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — After strong storms ripped through the area on Sunday, June 2, residents in the area are once again dealing with the aftermath of downed tree limbs and navigating insurance claims for property damage.

With so many storms coming through, concerns about insurance coverage increase.

“Each carrier is going to have covered perils that are viable claims and viable things that you can file a claim on,” Rebecca Lammers, owner and agent of Lammers Allstate, said. “For instance, our home policies have 16 perils that you’re able to file under, some of them being wind and hail, as well as lightning and fire. So, there’s different types of things that you’re able to go out and actually put a claim in for.”

What if a neighbor’s tree falls on your property? Who would be liable then?

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“It really depends on the health of the tree. Now, if you have a healthy tree and the wind just comes in and blows it down as far as an act of God or an act of nature, that is not going to be a covered claim for your neighbor. That would be something that they weren’t negligent in any way, [and] they wouldn’t have any legal liability to take care of that,” Lammers said. “So, it would depend again on the health of the tree. Now, if it’s something that they didn’t maintain and it’s a dead tree and they should’ve taken care of it, then that would be some negligence on their side where you would be able to file a claim against their home policy.”

Preventative measures and upkeep can play a vital role in not only your safety but also the safety and liability of others.

According to Certified Arborist Mike Ibarra with North Texas Tree Expert, thinning and trimming your trees is a good technique.

“You do want to trim stuff that’s over structures, for example, fences, houses, and powerlines. You want to have that stuff cleaned up, and the way you do that is, you know, just thinning it out and doing a clearance,” Ibarra said. “Usually, powerlines are a three-to-four foot clearance, and your roof, you want at least six feet of clearance usually.”

Weather can be unpredictable, but you can do your part to stay prepared and informed about your coverage and how to prevent potential damage.

Stay up-to-date with severe weather on Texoma’s Homepage.

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