When a tree falls through your house, you want it gone.
Trust me, I know. (Honestly, I do.)
When a giant tree and its deep root structure stand awkwardly in your front lawn, you want the offensive debris moved as quickly as possible.
I get it.
Residents of Westborough suffered a microburst on Friday night. On Saturday morning, I phoned our regular tree service, Templeman Tree, and couldn’t get a hold of anyone. I called the company my parents have used for 30 years, and no one answered there, either. Everyone was swamped because of the storm.
Fortunately, a good friend knew of a reputable company in Millbury, one they had personally used for 10 years. This company was able to come out to help us with the damage on Monday morning, for a reasonable price, and they were able to prove that they were properly insured.
Steve called me back from Templeman Tree over the weekend, and checked back again on Monday to make sure that we had secured some help with our trees.
“I can’t believe what’s going on out there right now,” he said.
Steve has worked in the business for 25 years, and has done all of the tree work at our house since we moved to Westborough. In fact, he worked on half a dozen houses on the Cul de Sac last year; he is highly knowledgeable when it comes to safe tree removal.
“I know… the storm was bad! The National Weather Service thinks that the microburst started in my parents’ front yard,” I replied.
“I believe it! But really, I meant what is happening with the tree removal, right now.”
Steve didn’t have to go much further; from years of insurance discussions, I knew what he was suggesting.
At first, in my desperation to have the trees moved, the dangers of using an unfamiliar, unreliable tree removal service during this time hadn’t occurred to me. Patrick, ever the insurance agent, kept his head and made sure that we hired a reputable company, not some stranger to help us with the trees.
Unfortunately, many companies will bill higher rates after a disaster like this, promising that insurance companies will pay for everything. (That’s not usually the case!) Many people higher additional, untrained staff, and will work without an insurance certificate. This means that if an accident was to happen on your property, it wouldn’t be covered by the tree service- you, the homeowner would be liable. (Think about re-dropping the tree into that already damaged window…)
There are also a lot of guys, looking to make some money out there offering to help take care of trees. With some rental equipment from Home Depot, they are traveling around neighborhoods offering to help for a lower rate; these guys are a frightening liability for the homeowner for the reasons outlined above.
While it may seem that the damage from the microburst was over in the five minutes that the storm lasted, the damage from the clean-up could lasts for months, if you’re not careful.
For a list of reputable Tree Services in Westborough, and a more detailed explaination of the risks of hiring unqualified and uninsured companies, fell free to contact Patrick at Dolan and Maloney Insurance.