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Tulsa Insurance Agent Answers Questions About Who Pays For Tree Damage

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Beth Yenter and Jeff Maly woke up to what they thought felt like an earthquake. Beth Yenter and Jeff Maly woke up to what they thought felt like an earthquake.
What they didn't realize is their neighbor's tree was now inside their house. What they didn't realize is their neighbor's tree was now inside their house.
Before the insurance adjuster can assess the damage, construction crews have to disassemble the tree and clear the roof. Before the insurance adjuster can assess the damage, construction crews have to disassemble the tree and clear the roof.
"If my tree falls on a neighbor's house, the neighbor's insurance pays," said AAA Insurance agent John Onorato. "If my tree falls on a neighbor's house, the neighbor's insurance pays," said AAA Insurance agent John Onorato.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tuesday night's storms snapped and uprooted trees, sending debris onto neighbor's homes and cars.

Insurance agents say they've slammed with calls about who is responsible for cleaning up the damage.

A massive tree ripped out of the ground and toppled over onto a midtown Tulsa house.

"I just kept saying, 'Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. This is not happening. This is not happening,'" said homeowner Beth Yenter.

Yenter and Jeff Maly woke up to what they thought felt like an earthquake.

"We just laid down and heard a loud crash and the house shook," Maly said.

What they didn't realize is their neighbor's tree was now inside their house.

"Never thought in a million years that we would be excavating a 100-foot tree out of our house," Yenter said.

The tree shattered their bricked chimney and threw insulation and dirt all over the house.

7/24/2013 Related Story: City Of Tulsa Details Debris Clean-up Plan

"Pretty big setback. It is what it is," Maly said.

Before the insurance adjuster can assess the damage, construction crews have to disassemble the tree and clear the roof.

Many people across Green Country are now dealing with similar situations. So, who is responsible for paying for damages and removal if the neighbor's tree lands on your property?

"Generally speaking, in Oklahoma, we all insure our own property, so if a neighbor's tree falls on my house, my insurance pays. If my tree falls on a neighbor's house, the neighbor's insurance pays," said AAA Insurance agent John Onorato.

Onorato said his phone has been ringing off the hook with people asking the same question.

"Be kind to your neighbors when their tree falls in your yard or your tree falls in their yard, because it doesn't happen everyday and it might be a new experience for both of you," Onorato said.

Yenter and Maly now have to pay their $1,600 deductible.

Insurance agents say, if you have complained to your neighbor and the city about removing their dead tree, then the neighbor could be responsible for the damage.

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