Hauling Off and Paying Off Downed Trees - WSET.com - ABC13

Hauling Off and Paying Off Downed Trees

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Reporter: Mark Kelly l Videographer: Dan Heffner

Lynchburg, VA - Hauling the mighty oaks out of yards that fell during the strong storm is easier said than done. They are heavy to lift and sometimes really expensive to get rid of.

On Link Road, a massive oak smashed right through the middle of a home. Fortunately, the elderly couple living there is okay. But the price to haul the oak off their yard is painful to see.

The Lukens' home is a total loss. Daughter Cynthia Lukens Schoen came to Lynchburg from her home in New Mexico to help pick up the pieces. The damage took her breath away.

"I think it kinda twisted and diagonally fell," said Lukens Schoen.

One old oak sliced through the roof and landed right in the house. Removing the trees takes days.

"Then a huge one that fell on the garage, he chopped that one up and took it away," said Lukens Schoen.

Tuesday, the tree is chopped down and ready to be hauled off. But now the question is, who's going to pay for it?

Insurance agents have been burning the midnight oil as claims for fallen trees pile up. Owner of Hedges Insurance Agency Trish Hedges has to keep up.

"Tree on my house, tree on my car, tree on my front porch," said Hedges, describing the claims she's seen.

Lukens' bill - to chop and haul the downed trees - is $9,000.

"$9,000. I thought it would be maybe 5," said Lukens Schoen.

Fortunately, a typical homeowner's policy covers cases like downed trees on a house. But if the tree lands in the yard and misses the house that's a different story -- a typical policy won't cover that. That's when you need a good attitude. From the sound of it, the Lukens have just that.

"Her attitude was, 'Well, at least I won't have to rake up those leaves anymore,'" said Lukens Schoen.

Here's a question agents say they are getting a lot: If my neighbor's tree falls on my house, does my insurance pay or theirs? The answer is you gotta pay up, not your neighbor.

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