Independent Agents Available to the News Media

Given the events related to the recent hurricanes, and the potential of more to come, as well as the “bridge-loan” to AIG, if you need expert resources on insurance issues, please feel free to contact the Independent Insurance Agents of Virginia.

Whether you need background information or specific questions answered, either our staff or members are available for your calls.

Given the events related to the recent hurricanes, and the potential of more to come, as well as the “bridge-loan” to AIG, if you need expert resources on insurance issues, please feel free to contact the Independent Insurance Agents of Virginia.

Whether you need background information or specific questions answered, either our staff or members are available for your calls.

For example, with Hurricane Isabel, the most common question that seemed to be of interest was, “if my neighbor’s tree falls in my yard, whose insurance policy is responsible for the clean up or damage?” Recently we have been inundated with calls from those who are insured with AIG and wondering if they need to move their policies.

Please feel free to contact at this office toll free – 1-800-288-4428 or direct 1-804-747-9300:

Robert N. Bradshaw, Jr., MAM – President & CEO

Linda Loving, CIC – Chief Operating Officer

Joe Hudgins, CPCU – Vice President, Industry Relations

Diane Mattis, CPCU – Vice President of Education and Technical Affairs

IIAV can also help you find qualified insurance professionals locally – although as you can imagine, during an event insurance professionals tend to be rather busy assisting their clients in getting their claims adjusted and or paid.

So – what does happen if your neighbor’s tree falls on your property? In general, a standard homeowner’s policy does NOT cover the removal of a fallen tree due to a storm UNLESS it damages insured property. This includes your house and other items, such as a fence or garage. If the tree simply falls during a storm and doesn’t hit anything, the cost of removing it is generally not covered. If your neighbor’s tree did hit your house, you have to file a claim under YOUR homeowner’s policy even if you were not the owner of the tree. Unfortunately, there is probably a deductible and possibly a limit on the amount your insurer will pay. These are the general rules. Consumers should check their policy or consult with their agent to see what’s covered. For example, some policies pay for removal if a fallen tree was stuck by lightening or is blocking a driveway. Another exception: Let’s say your neighbor’s tree was dying and leaning precariously toward your property. You notified your neighbor in writing and asked that the hazard be removed. They ignore the request. Since the tree later fell, you may have recourse against your neighbor’s insurance company. Keep records of this correspondence n case you have to recover damages. High winds and heavy rains can topple trees and cause massive, expensive damage. Look around your property to ensure there are no potential hazards – and if there are, notify your neighbor in writing. Founded in 1898, IIAV is part of the nation’s oldest and largest associations of independent insurance agents, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents and agency employees nationwide and over 7,000 in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its members are insurance businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents offer all lines of insurance – property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.iiav.com and nationally www.independentagent.com

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