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Snowfall in Billings results in outages and insurance claims

Posted at 5:29 PM, Oct 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-19 19:40:00-04

After three days of continuous snowfall in Billings, problems have started to surface.

According to Lisa Perry, community relations manager for Northwestern Energy, numerous power outages have occured in the Billings area since Sunday night.

“One of them did involve a vehicle collision. The majority of them have been trees and wires, trees and branches heavy with snow,” Perry said Monday afternoon.

Perry said she wants people to know that they should be cautious if they encounter a downed power line. She said to not go near it but instead call Northwestern Energy or report the issue on their website.

Another problem from the snow: tree branches and limbs breaking and falling onto neighboring homes and vehicles.

In the case of a tree breaking and causing property damage to a neighbor’s home, some people are wondering who is at fault.

“When a tree falls onto somebody else property, the owner of the tree whose property it is on is usually responsible for taking care of it,” said Max Graham, president of Frontier Insurance Solutions.

Graham said that he has recently had clients who were in a similar situation, where their tree fell on top of a neighbor’s car. The property owner had to pay.

Graham said that people should check with their insurance provider to see what their insurance plan entails for this situation. He says whenever a tree’s limbs are hanging over into a neighboring yard, there can be some liabilities.