While many people are deathly afraid of shark attacks, more people should be afraid of falling trees. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more than 100 people die by falling trees every year. In contrast, only four to seven people are killed by sharks per year.
Even if you aren’t in the path of a falling tree, there’s always the chance that a tree could fall on your home, particularly if you live in a storm-prone area (remember, the 2019 hurricane season is in full effect until November). If a tree has fallen on your home, here is some information about what you should do.
How to Handle a Fallen Tree
If you or your family members are in the home when the tree has fallen, everyone should leave the house as soon as possible. Watch out for downed electrical lines. Wait until you are far away from your home before you use your cell phone to call 911. Get away from your house using the safest route available.
Call emergency services or 911. You can expect them to send you responders to provide assistance. Be sure to let the dispatcher know if the fallen tree has injured or killed anyone. Stay at the scene unless you happen to be injured. Wait for an ambulance.
Make sure to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. That way, they can cover any emergency costs, removal, or other details covered by the homeowners insurance policy. If your tree has fallen on your neighbor’s home, your neighbor will be required to make a claim using their own insurance policy. However, you should still let your homeowners insurance company know about the damages.
The next thing you should do is contact a roofing contractor, tree removal company, and any other professionals who are relevant to evaluate the damage, get rid of the tree, and secure the home. That way, there will be no additional damage to the possessions or property. Even if the tree has not fallen on your home, keep in mind that there may be roots underneath your property. The displaced tree roots can damage the foundation of your home. Make sure you have a contractor or builder check the house for cracks in the brickwork and cracks in the drywall. Don’t make the mistake of trying to repair the roof or remove the tree on your own. Even if the tree or the branches appear to be small, it is difficult to know whether the integrity of your home has been disrupted.
If you find that you cannot live in the home during the repairs, be sure to secure the damaged areas to prevent theft and looting. Store any valuables temporarily and board up any holes and broken windows.
A tree falling on a house is a nightmare for any homeowner. For more information about what to do in the event a tree has fallen on your home and to learn more about David G. Sayles’s homeowners insurance coverage page, don’t hesitate to contact us.
About David G. Sayles Insurance Services
At David G. Sayles Insurance Services, we strive to protect the investments of business owners like you. Our comprehensive policies are customized for you to provide the exact coverage you need. For more information, contact us today at (800) 439-0292.