North Texas Storms Leave Homeowners With Insurance Questions

Alan Scaia
July 11, 2019 - 12:21 pm
Storm Damage, Broken Tree

Credit: Sergei Pivovarov/Getty Images

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As North Texans clean up from the thunderstorms that pushed through this week, some are wondering who is responsible for damage.

One woman in Mansfield posted a picture online, writing a tree in the house next door blew over, knocking down her fence and landing on the back of her house. In a case like that, the Insurance Council of Texas says the person who owns the land where the tree was planted would normally be responsible.

"That is the dilemma that comes up. Who's responsible? Who's the responsible party?" says the Insurance Council of Texas' Mark Hanna. "It could be some dead tree the homeowner should have taken care of, or it could have been alive, doing well and just because of the strong winds and rain fell over."

Since the house next door was abandoned, though, Hanna says the other homeowner's policy would have to cover the damage.

"In the event there's no one there, there's no one to hold responsible for the tree falling, you're going to have to fall back on your homeowner's insurance," he says.

Hanna says carriers would normally sort through similar claims together. This spring, he says, has kept them busy.

"This whole storm season, we've had probably more wind reports than I can count," Hanna says. "Hail alone, back in June, we had 16 of 30 days where we had hail fall the size of pennies or larger."

And he says Tropical Storm Barry will lead to more claims along the Texas and Louisiana coast.