Geauga County residents waiting for cleanup, dealing with insurance

BAINBRIDGE, OH – The work seems never-ending on Wood Acre Trail in Bainbridge.

“It’s going to be just a process as it goes, we have work for the foreseeable future that’s for sure,” said Dave Kelly of Blue Dog Group Tree Service Company.

Kelly’s company has been at one home on Wood Acre Trail for two days since Sunday’s storms ripped through the area. At Bobbie Shamberg’s home they were removing trees from her garage and from her driveway.

“These trees, some of them came down and they hit the barn. You can see on the corner of it where there’s a hole in the roof and there’s damage there,” Shamberg said. She got a hold of Blue Dog the night of the storm, but because there is so much widespread damage in the area, other homeowners may be waiting for crews to help them.

“We’re scheduling out into the future and then you can only do what you can do. That’s one thing about these companies is you’re limited to what you can do because it takes so much infrastructure trucks and machines to do it,” said Kelly.

But paying for tree removal service is another challenge.

“I called the insurance and lady called me back today and said, 'First of all I just want to say I work eight to four Monday through Friday so if you have anything you need to do you need to contact me during that time frame',” said Phil Rea, who had a massive tree fall on his home.

“Obviously I didn’t react too well to that so I told her I had half a house,” Rea continued.
Rea says he called his insurance company as soon as possible, but started work to get the tree off before an insurance adjuster came out.

Contrary to what many people believe, getting a tree off your home or another building before insurance comes out is the right thing to do.

“Generally, to get that tree off your house will lead to less further damage. It could rain, that thing is still on there and there’s a hole - go ahead and do it, get it off there and most of the quality insurance companies will pay for those costs you incurred,” said Jim Althans of Althans Insurance Agency.

Althans says most insurance companies cover the cost to remove a tree from on top of a home or another building. But trees down in a yard that didn’t do any damage to property probably won’t be covered.

Althans recommends making a list of all the damage and if you need help finding a reputable contractor contact your insurance agent