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Storm Damage: What your insurance does & doesn't cover

From trees on houses and cars to pipes bursting and food in your freezer & fridge.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The damage to cars and homes in our area is a reminder any of us could be in this position. Whether it's a winter or spring storm, calling the insurance company is never what you want to do.

Chase Smith from Alliance Insurance Services helped answer some of the most common insurance questions.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR TREE DAMAGE?

“It is always the homeowner. We get this question a lot, a lot of circumstances with a neighbor's tree may be fallen on another neighbor's house, but no matter where the tree came from, the homeowner is always responsible,” said Chase Smith.

Homeowners policies cover tree damage claims if it hits the house, but if the tree falls in the yard, insurance doesn’t cover cutting it up and moving it. The tree might even be blocking the front door or the driveway so you can't move your car, but it didn't hit the house, chances are insurance doesn't cover it.

WHO PAYS WHEN A TREE HITS MY CAR?  

     

Even if your car is sitting in your driveway, your homeowners policy doesn’t cover the damage, it is your auto insurance. The only way your auto insurance covers this kind of damage is if you have Comprehensive Coverage. Comprehensive covers non-accident-related damage to your car like fire, vandalism, falling tree branches, and hail.

IF MY PIPES BURST DUE TO THE COLD, DOES MY HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE COVER IT?

“Yes, a general homeowners insurance policy covers the pipe burst and damage to your home. You want to mitigate the situation first, as in shutting off the water at the main, before you call your insurance company. But don’t wait days to call us, you want to get the call made after you eliminate any danger,” said Smith.