In many parts of our country, wind gusts are strong and can reach well over 50 miles per hour. High winds, as well as heavy ice and snow, have caused trees to topple onto homes, businesses, and vehicles, causing serious property damages. In fact, fallen trees have cost millions of dollars in property losses—damaging cars, structures, and power lines.
Although homeowners cannot keep damage from occurring to their properties in every storm, homeowners are the first line of defense in protecting their properties. Consequently, insurance companies have denied residential insurance claims if they find that homeowners failed to take care of their surroundings, including trees, in order to prevent property damages from occurring.
Preventing Tree Damage to Homes
Homeowners can help prevent property damage from ever occurring before a storm strikes in several ways. Some things property owners can do include:
- Prune trees – It is wise to prune trees to prevent weak or loose branches from falling in a storm; however, over-pruning can weaken a tree. For this reason, it is best to check with local tree regulations prior to pruning, or hire a tree removal company to correctly prune or remove certain trees on your property.
- Regularly check for tree damage – By examining your trees on your property and looking for diseases and trouble signs, you may be able to spot a bad tree that needs to be removed before it topples over onto your home or your neighbor’s home. Things to look for include:
- Trees that lean to one side significantly
- Trees that are hollow or decayed
- Branches that cross with others
- Trees that have cracks in the trunk
- Mushrooms growing in the soil, indicating a weak stem
- Tree limbs that touch power lines
- Branches that hang over the house or near a roof of a home
Some trees, like ones that are damaged or are in soft soil with shallow roots, are more prone to falling in a storm. However, healthy small trees and large trees alike have toppled due to strong winds, which is not the fault of anyone besides Mother Nature.
If you have done everything you can to avoid property damage, and the insurance company is still denying your claim, you may need the assistance of a skilled first-party insurance lawyer. Contact the Voss Law Firm at 888-614-7730 for a free, no-obligation consultation today to find out your legal options. Also, request a free copy of our book, Top 10 Mistakes You Cannot Afford to Make When Filing Your Insurance Claim.