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State Insurance Department Gives Advice Concerning Storm Damage

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Last weekend's winter storm left broken branches, destroyed trees and damage to homes across the state. Last weekend's winter storm left broken branches, destroyed trees and damage to homes across the state.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Last weekend's winter storm left broken branches, destroyed trees and damage to homes across the state.

Right now, insurance companies are busy answering coverage questions. What's covered and what's not?

Bethany was one of the hardest hit in the area. There are literally downed trees and limbs on every corner.

11/30/2015 Related Story: Oklahoma Cities Offer Residents Storm Debris Pickup, Drop-Off Service

Heavy limbs crashed down on some homes leaving some homeowners wondering what to do next.

“My daughter heard the first thing crash,” said Bethany resident Cody Cunningham.

Cunningham is not sure if a massive branch has left any permanent damage to his roof. He and his family have only lived in the home for less than a month.

“And we’re worried about it being a hole in the house, hole in the roof,” Cunningham said.

Not too far down the street, John Dehner is going from home to home hauling off branches. 

“Nature is nature, you know what I mean. You just got to pick it up and roll with the punches,” Dehner said.

He said several shingles were knocked off his roof after frozen limbs came crashing down over his home.

“Just trying to do what I can do, you know,” Dehner said.

“The first thing people need to do if they have damage to their property, either their house or their auto is to call their insurance company,” said Oklahoma Insurance Department spokesman Buddy Combs.

Combs said the general rule is if your neighbor's tree falls in your yard, and damages your house, then typically you're the one calling your insurance agency.

“Insurance companies tend to treat this thing like an act of God, unless the other person was negligent in some way in not trimming the tree that they should have or something like that,” Combs said.

Most homeowners' insurance policies will also cover damage caused by the weight of ice and snow.

“You worry about your house, vehicles, whether you’re going to lose power,” Dehner said.  

If you're having issues with your insurance company or are having problems getting paid, contact the state Insurance Department for help. The insurance department can be reached at (800) 522-0071 or click here.

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