Tornadoes are common in the midwestern and southern United States, causing expensive damage. Usually, insurance in tornado-prone states costs more due to the higher risk to insurers of massive claims. Here are important facts to know about home insurance for a tornado.
Will damage caused by a tornado be covered by renters or home insurance?
Yes, renters and homeowners insurance for a tornado are available, but you must read the policy to see if it’s covered. Each insurer offers a policy that may or may not cover what you expect from a standard renters or homeowners plan. You should review the policy yourself; then, if you have questions, talk with your insurance agent.
Look for the term “windstorm,” which is the category that encompasses dangerous wind-related perils such as tornadoes, hurricanes, cyclones, and high winds. Usually, a deductible is part of the policy, meaning you’ll have to pay a certain amount first before the policy pays for the rest of the claim. You can raise your deductible amount if you prefer to pay more when filing a claim while lowering your monthly insurance bills.
Exceptions to coverage
Tornado coverage does not include flooding damage, and you will need separate coverage for flood damage. Flooding typically doesn’t occur after a tornado, but it’s still good to have flood insurance just in case. Similarly, damage to your car won’t be covered by tornado insurance, but your auto insurance will cover it.
One of the reasons many homeowners or renters don’t have all the proper coverage they need if a disaster strike is they believe it won’t happen to them. However, in certain parts of the country, a tornado can cause damage to entire neighborhoods. It’s crucial to be aware that the more dangerous a peril is, the more likely it requires special coverage to protect against. Tornado coverage can be specialized in certain parts of the country and yet be part of a standard plan in other areas. It depends on the perils in your region.
What about “loss of use” claims?
The homeowners or renters policy may provide “loss of use” coverage if you cannot live in your residence. That means you’ll get benefits to pay for living expenses, including renting an apartment or staying in a hotel. The policy will state the circumstances in which you’ll get this coverage, such as when a tornado destroys your home.
Loss of use coverage doesn’t protect against all types of damage. For example, if your power goes out, it does not provide benefits unless another damage prevents you from staying in the location. Loss of use also does not cover food spoiling in the refrigerator due to a power outage. Ask your insurance agent about other coverage for power outage issues.
The most likely way to get loss of use benefits is if tornado damage forces you to live in a different location for several weeks or longer. You can’t expect to live in the home if the roof is damaged until it’s repaired. Any damage to the physical structure can warrant using this coverage while your property is being restored.
Protect your home from tornadoes
It’s wise to stay updated on your home’s condition, preventing repair costs from spiraling out of control. The more you prepare your home for a tornado or other natural disaster, the better you can reduce the effects of the disaster.