Norwalk insurance agent explains storm coverage

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NEWTOWN -

As homeowners clean up from a string of powerful storms that leveled trees and caused other damage across parts of the state, many wonder how much help they'll get from their insurance companies.

Peter Bocarossa, an agent in Norwalk, says most policies cover tree damage — and also lodging if the house is so damaged it's temporarily unlivable.

The catch with tree removal is that most policies will pay to move a fallen tree off of a house and for any damage to the house itself — but not for hauling downed trees out of the yard. And if your neighbor's tree falls on your house, your insurance is responsible because it's considered an "act of God."

In many cases, insurance will even cover spoiled food.

And Tuesday's weather is what most insurance carriers have classified as a catastrophic storm.

"If it is categorized as a catastrophic storm, the companies will not affect your premium," Bocarossa says. "A lot of people are worried, If I put a loss in, my premium's going to go through the roof. That's not the case in this particular type of storm."

The state's Insurance Department also has some tips for homeowners.

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