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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Tips for people with storm damage

The garage of Matt Van Vleet took a direct hit from a neighbors tree, destroying two cars, including a new one just purchased a week ago. He also has two trees down in his front yard. He lives on 18th, east of Bernard. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

If you have storm damage to your home or car from Tuesday’s storm, you may be filing an insurance claim. Here are some tips from the Washington Insurance Commissioner’s website:

Damage to your home from a falling tree

Call your insurance agent or company as soon as possible. Take photos or video of the damage. Take steps like covering broken windows or leaking roofs, but only if it’s safe.

Don’t make permanent repairs until someone from the insurance company has seen the damage and you’ve agreed on repairs. Keep all receipts.

If you can’t live in the home, check to see whether your policy covers temporary living expenses. Save those receipts.

If the tree was on your neighbor’s property, your policy may cover it, but there will probably be a deductible. If your neighbor was at fault, your insurance company may be able to get your neighbor’s insurance company to pay, although fault can be hard to prove.

Your policy probably won’t cover the cleanup or removal of a tree or branches that fell in your yard but didn’t hit your home or garage.

Damage to your car

A tree or a limb falling and damaging your car may be covered by your auto insurance if you have comprehensive coverage.

If the damage is from you carport collapsing on it, your homeowner’s insurance will likely cover it. In either case, there may be a deductible.

Damage to appliances, televisions and other electronics items inside the house

Many homeowner policies will cover electronic items damaged by a power surge, or the loss of food in a freezer that thaws and spoils from several days of outages. But those policies also usually have a deductible, so you’ll have to figure if it’s worth filing a claim.