What’s covered and what’s not following a storm


BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – People are continuing to clean up in Boardman after storms ripped through the area last weekend.

There were 28 tornadoes that moved through the Midwest Sunday. There was damage caused by a confirmed tornado in Columbiana County and the storm in Boardman. Now, many homeowners are wondering what insurance covers.

The first misconception is that flood waters are covered under home owners insurance. Agent Rocco Nolfi said flood waters are only covered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“Any ground water that comes in above the foundation or through the walls, seepage, it’s going to be covered through FEMA. Most, nine out of ten people in this area, don’t have that coverage,” Nolfi said.

The exception is if a tree were to put a hole in your house or the winds knock your roof off, which allows rain water to pour in.

Nolfi said that people have the most questions about tree damage. What happens if your neighbor’s tree falls on your house?

“The way it works is that it is an act of God, so whoever’s structure is damaged, it is actually their policy that is going to kick in the coverage,” Nolfi said.

 

But don’t expect insurance companies to always pay for the removal of trees. Nolfi says coverage varies and that a tree that fall in a house would have more coverage for removal than one that is lying the yard. In some cases, there is no coverage at all for tree removal.

Another misconception is making a claim for car damage. Damage to your car from a storm will not carry the same deductible as getting in a wreck, and it could be lower.

“Often times, comprehensive deductibles are a lot lower than a collision. Sometimes, you get lucky if the wind knocks a tree over instead of driving into it. It will be less money out of pocket,” Nolfi said.

If you have questions about coverage, contact your insurance agent. Your best bet is to know your coverage before a storm damages your property.