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Insurance and Storms: It‘s Tricky

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – If a tree falls on your property, you will have to pay out of pocket – insurance or no insurance. Standard homeowner’s policies only cover tree damage if the tree falls onto a home.

Troy Thompson of Pinnacle Insurance in Coon Rapids says it can get complicated.

“Definitely want to make sure you have homeowners insurance for a situation like this. And also know that you’re not gonna get much money when your trees get blown over unless the tree hits your house,” Thompson said.

The big indicator with trees down and payouts is where the tree lands. It doesn’t matter whose tree it is, the person who owns the property where it lands is generally responsible.

Thompson says sometimes neighbors can reach a friendly agreement and decide to split the bill but there is no obligation for the person who owned the tree to pay.

Also, Thompson says insurance companies rarely replace the trees. That cost would be up to the tree owner.

When it comes to flooding, Thompson says there are more insurance options. He says it’s important to do the research and talk with your insurance agent, because it involves several layers of coverage.

“If the water seeps in from the ground, a lot of times it’s directional. So, if it comes up from the ground up in to your house, that would be flood insurance, and that’s a completely separate policy,” he said. “If a tree falls down and creates a hole and then water comes down into your house – that would be covered.”

He says the separate flood policy typically runs $200-$800. He also suggests sewage coverage which is an add-on to a standard policy. That runs about $50-$100.

Thompson says it’s best to have an in-depth discussion with your agent before an emergency, which is when you still have options.

Another suggestion that would save money is to buy a battery-operated sump pump, which costs about $180. The pumps run on sensors then start pumping if they detect water.

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