February 10, 2009
The rains have slowed clean up of debris from the ice storm, but you'll soon be back out in harms way of hidden dangers hanging in the trees. But you need to find out what and who you're insurance will cover, and who's liable when those limbs come crashing down.
With so much debris, you may be hiring someone to help or asking a friend.
Steve Meredith, with Allstate Insurance in Jonesboro says you should check with your insurance agent before you do.
"Determining whether or not something is going to be covered, what your limits are, what to do, what steps to take, that's always the best way to go, is to contact your individual agent."
So who's liable if someone gets hurt on your property?
"If they are a guest, a neighbor helping out, then yeah you would be liable to a certain limit. check your policy for the injury limits that you would be covered for. Now if someone is there by hire, if you hired someone, then they need to have their own insurance."
But what if someone helping you, cuts down a tree and it damages your neighbor's home?
"That would be the policy of the person you contracted to do the work. Now your Homeowners would cover it if it fell by an act of nature in your neighbor's yard, then your Homeowners would pick up that."
As you talk with your agent, Steve suggests asking about your coverage of guests.
"Do I have guest medical? If you are going to invite someone over to help with clean up or they volunteer to, make sure you've got that and you find out what you're limits are... and anything there above, you wouldn't be, it would be the neighbors responsibility."
Although your insurance is there during times like this...
"Not everyone has a claim that's going to be paid for by the insurance company. And a lot of things that might seem major to your or may cause some inconvenience a lot of debris removal that did not cause any damage to property a lot of times that's not covered or it will not meet the deductible to fill your contract."