Dos and don'ts when filing insurance claims

WAYNE, Pa. - February 10, 2014

The common sight in every community is branches strewn across lawns, homes ripped open by falling trees. Officials say now is the time for homeowners to file those claims to make repairs.

For residents who suffered through the power outage, the number one issue becomes tree damage and claims stemming from that. This is according to insurance experts who are dealing with last week's historic ice storm and the fallout.

The question is, what about damage to your home and perhaps your neighbors' from trees on your property?

Richard Gallo of Allstate Insurance explains, "When a tree is knocked down from a storm it's considered an act of God. So, if my tree were to fall and hit my neighbor's house, it would be covered under my neighbor's property policy."

With all the damage coming out of the ice storm of 2014, there are bound to be some unscrupulous contractors out to make a quick buck at the expense of stressed out storm victims.

AAA says beware of scam artist who are bound to appear.

"Don't just use repairs from somebody who randomly comes up to your house and offers, because you don't know who they are. You don't know if they're reliable," says Jenny Robinson from AAA. "Because of this type of situation, you really need to call your insurance company first and file that claim. Give them all the information."

Storm damage victims should also be asking their insurance company about things like claims from food spoilage, debris cleanup, and broken water pipes, among others.

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