As the region fights through one storm after another, AAA offered some helpful tips regarding insurance for those still picking up from the high winds which hit the region last week.
“Most damage that is caused by something like this would be covered on your home insurance,” said Melissa Paone, regional team leader and insurance agent at AAA of Western and Central New York. “Stuff like your siding ripping off, your roof ripping off. Fences coming down. “Trees damaging your property,” she continued. “Most of those things your going to have coverage on your policy.”
More detail was provided in the press release from AAA:
■ Wind damage to your home, its roof, and other insured buildings on your property, such as a stand-alone garage, would fall under your standard homeowners policy. Claims for cars damaged by wind would fall under the comprehensive portion of your auto policy.
■ Trees crashing down onto the roof of your home, another insured building on your property or a fence can cause damage that may be covered. Removal of the tree may also be covered up to a certain amount, provided it hits a structure or blocks a driveway. It may not be covered if it just falls on the ground. The comprehensive portion of your auto policy could cover cars damaged by fallen trees or branches.
■ If a power outage caused the contents of your refrigerator or freezer to spoil, it may be covered by your homeowners policy.
■ If your home is damaged so severely that you’re forced to live elsewhere, your homeowners policy may cover reasonable expenses while it is being repaired.
Paone said the best way to see if insurance covers damage is to call your local claims representative and ask.
“The most common (claim — especially in Western New York) is your water back-up situation in a basement,” she said. “Like if the electricity fails and the sump pump stops working, and the water backs up and damages the basement. You only have coverage for that, if that is added as endorsement on to your policy. So people would want to check and see if they have that on to their policy to cover that situation.”
If someone does have damage, AAA says to document it safely before they start cleaning. They should also cover any broken windows or doors with tarps or plywood to prevent further damage and save receipts to be submitted for reimbursement along with the claim.