How to survive household financial emergencies

Leon Elder

In the midst of a disaster, you are rarely equipped to find the best and cheapest solution to your problem. So before your next bad luck in and around the house, learn how to cut the costs of common crises.

The wind has knocked over my tree!

Over $ 1,000 to remove an 80-foot tree

Standard home insurance covers damage to the contents and structure of your home or garage; you just have to pay the deductible. Comprehensive auto insurance generally covers damage caused to a crashed car.

The cost of cutting and removing the tree, within certain limits, should be covered if it hits an insured structure; otherwise you are probably alone. A simple job can start at $ 200, says Nancy Herwig, executive director of the Mid-Atlantic section of the International Society of Arboriculture. “But most of the trees near houses need a lot longer, so it could be in the thousands,” she says.

Get the best deal

A landscaper can remove a tree that has already fallen and is not near you. But for complex jobs, consider an arborist, says Caitlyn Pollihan, CEO of the International Society of Arboriculture: “A ISA certified arborist can perform the job safely while reducing the risk of further damage. Ask for references, proof of insurance and certifications or licenses. “There is no bad job on trees,” says Herwig.

My dog ​​bit my neighbor, and she continues!

$ 50,245, average insurance payment for dog bite claims in 2020

Homeowners ‘and tenants’ insurance policies generally cover dog bite liability and legal fees (the insurer usually hires the lawyer) up to the policy’s liability limit, which is often $ 100,000. to $ 300,000.

Get the best deal

If you need a lawyer, find a specialist to represent dog owners. “You need a civil defense lawyer who understands the laws and facts surrounding dog bites,” says Jeremy Cohen of Boston Dog Lawyers.

Do it yourself

You may be able to avoid a lawsuit by offering to pay your neighbor’s medical bills. “If your dog is 100% responsible and the victim is another dog, it’s always a good move to offer to pay reasonable vet bills,” Cohen explains. If the victim is a person and the bite is not serious, offering to pay the medical bills can also help, he adds. “When the injuries are serious, it is advisable to consult a lawyer rather than trying to solve the problem on your own. “

Before it happens

Check if your insurance covers your type of dog; shop around if not. Some breeds are not always covered: Alaskan Malamute, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Pit Bull and Rottweiler. Maintain sufficient liability coverage. “Going from $ 300,000 to $ 500,000 can cost just $ 50 to $ 80 more per year,” says Derek Ross of Kulchin Ross, an independent insurance agency in Tarzana, Calif.

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