What You Need to Know About Tornadoes and Your Insurance Policy

30 June 2023

In the wake of a devastating natural disaster like a tornado, you may be left feeling lost and confused about what to do next. Navigating a crisis is never easy. However, understanding what to do immediately following a tornado or other severe weather event and knowing your homeowners and personal auto insurance policies in more detail can help you feel more confident in your ability to recover.

There were 1,143 tornadoes reported in 2022, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Storm Prediction Center. Most of them occurred in March, April, and May, with over 200 tornadoes in each of those months. However, tornados can happen year-round. There were at least 25 actual tornados reported each month from June 2022 to December 2022. NOAA’s 2023 preliminary reports currently show 913 tornadoes so far from January 1 to June 26.

With so many who have been or may be impacted by tornadoes, it’s important to be prepared in case a tornado damages your property and you need to file a claim.

Is Tornado Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

Yes, most standard homeowners insurance policies do cover wind damage, rain damage, fallen tree damage, or similar damages because of a tornado. Your policy may even provide money to cover living expenses if you’re forced to move. Business insurance and renters insurance also provide coverage if the property sustains damage caused by a tornado.

Where you live can influence what additional insurance you might need—

  • If you live in a state or region that historically gets hit by many tornadoes, you may be required to buy wind and hail insurance separately.
  • Water damage that happens because of flooding is not covered by standard homeowners policies. If there’s a chance your property will flood, you might want to think about adding flood insurance.

What You Can Do:

Review your policy. Make sure you have coverage limits that can support the rebuilding of your home, in the unfortunate event that it’s a complete loss due to a tornado. Making a home inventory can help you figure out the type of coverages and amounts you need.

Would you like to discuss your homeowners insurance needs with a licensed professional? We can help you understand what you need, what you might want to consider, and where you can get the most affordable coverage. Give our agents a call today at (844) 358-5605 or answer a few simple questions to get started.

Will Auto Insurance Cover Vehicle Damage Due to a Tornado?

Yes, if you have comprehensive coverage as part of your auto insurance policy. Your coverage should protect you in the event that your car is damaged by:

  • Debris
  • Lightning
  • A falling object like a tree or power line
  • Being blown or moved because of high winds
  • And more.

If your vehicle suffers tornado damage, you’ll need to file a claim. An insurance adjuster will take a look at your car and the insurance company will determine if it’s best to pay for repairs or if your car is a total loss.

What You Can Do:

Take precautions when you know inclement weather is on the way. Avoid parking in areas that easily flood and avoid parking near anything that could fall on your car like poles or trees. If you can park inside a garage, do it.

Are you nearing your auto insurance renewal time and wondering if you’re getting the best rate possible? We can help you shop around and see what options are available to you. Call us at (844) 358-5605 or get your free quote in minutes.

How to Make Filing a Tornado Insurance Claim Easier If Your Property Is Damaged

Tornados form and move fast. If you live in a tornado-prone area, it’s important to know what to do if something does happen to your house or car. The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) released their tornado recovery information kit, which you can download here.

Some of APCIA recommendations include:

  • Keep you and your family’s safety your top priority. Follow the instructions of local authorities and evacuate if instructed to do so. Don’t return to the property until it’s declared safe to do so.
  • Keep track of Additional Living Expenses (ALE) in the event that you are evacuated. Save your receipts for hotels, food, clothing and other living expenses. Your claim adjuster will need to see them to issue a reimbursement if these items are covered as part of the terms of your policy.
  • For Damaged Property: Inventory your home for damages and safety hazards. Call your insurer to start the claim and report damages. Make any temporary repairs you need to stop further damage. Then create an inventory of damages, including structural damage. You’ll want to show the adjuster everything when the time comes. Take photos and/or videos of all damages.
  • For a Total Loss: Start a claim as soon as possible. Work with your insurance company to secure temporary housing that will be covered under the ALE part of your policy. You will need to continue paying your mortgage and property taxes.

For a more detailed walk through of what to do if your home is hit by a tornado, refer to the APCIA’s Tornado Preparedness Guide.

Tornadoes are devastating for families and communities. Knowing your insurance policy can help you better understand what to expect following an event. Take a look at your policy so you understand its terms. If you’re looking to shop around for a new policy, we’d be happy to help!

About InsureOnline.com

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