What to do if you have storm damage

December 15, 2010 10:46:52 AM PST
Insurance adjustors have their hands full, there will be plenty of claims coming in and who pays for what is causing a lot of confusion. One grand Sycamore will be blamed for damage in three separate insurance claims on 83 Road Place in hard hit Middle Village.

Its roots ruptured the sidewalk in front of Kim and Bob Doremus's house, the trunk's on the Borquins car, and the top of tree is on the Minore's roof.

"It's a city tree. We're hoping they take care of it," Jamie Minore said.

City trees are the responsibility of the Parks Department, which will remove them from cars and property or reimburse homeowners who have them moved on their own, but the Insurance Institute instructs people to file a claim with their homeowner's insurance too.

"The best thing is to call right away, file a claim and follow up with a note so they have it on record," Loretta Waters of the Insurance Institute said.

Most policies will cover wind damage to your home, but repairing sidewalks maybe the homeowner's responsibility to fix even if a city tree caused the damage.

"We would have to hire a private contractor do it. I think it's fair? No. Not at all," Kim Doremus said.

Doremus called 3-1-1 and will wait and see if their sidewalk gets fixed for free through the Tree and Sidewalks Repair Program, but there's no guarantee. City inspectors will be assessing which damage will qualify on a case by case basis.

"If people call 311, we know for sure whether it's a city tree or not. Even if it's, let's say, a private tree, we're gonna respond," Dorothy Lewandowski said.

The Queens Parks Commissioner reminds homeowners who have damage to their home from a city tree to file a claim with the controller's office within 90 days along with filing with their own homeowner's insurance.

As for the trunk of that Sycamore on the car, if the damage is covered depends on what type of coverage is on the auto insurance.


Report a fallen or damaged tree in New York City

Insurance Information Institute: Am I Covered?