What is tornado insurance?
Tornado insurance is special coverage included in your homeowners insurance policy that specifically covers damage caused by twisters. Most standard homeowners insurance policies cover tornadoes, but some require a special separate endorsement.
Tornadoes, cyclones, twisters…whatever you call these scary natural disasters, they can do a lot of damage.
Do you know if your homeowner’s insurance policy covers tornado damage? Some don’t, and even those that do might have inadequate or partial coverage. Here, check out our guide to tornado insurance. If you’re thinking of making a safer switch, don’t forget that you can compare and purchase a new policy right here with Insurify. Do you know if your homeowners insurance covers damages from tornadoes? If you’re in Tornado Alley, you may want to find out.
Before we dive into the nuances of your policy, let’s review some quick tips to reduce damage and loss of your personal property in the event of a tornado. These are especially important if you live in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, and parts of South Dakota—the areas of the United States known as “Tornado Alley.” Although tornadoes can occur anywhere, the flat plains of the midwest are most susceptible.
How to Know if Tornadoes are Covered on Your Policy
Unlike flood insurance, there’s no separate policy for “tornado insurance.” This is because the damage caused by tornadoes can typically be categorized as either wind damage or water damage. If your home is struck by a tornado and you need to file an insurance claim, your insurance company will classify the damage as flood-related or wind-related. Homeowners insurance policies nearly always cover wind damage, but flood damage is another story. If your home is at risk for serious flood damage, you can purchase a flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program.
One interesting quirk of this type of insurance coverage? If moisture gets into your home because of wind (for example, if wind damages your roof and allows rain to enter), your homeowners insurance policy will likely cover the damage caused by that rain.
After a disaster, an insurance agent may come to your home to assess the damage and try to understand exactly how it was caused.
Having tornado insurance, whether it came with your standard policy or you’ve chosen to purchase it as a special endorsement, gives policyholders peace of mind knowing that damage to their personal belongings, collectibles, and any additional living expenses they may encounter are financially protected by their insurance policy. Coverage limits you’ve previously agreed to with your insurer may determine how much your covered losses amount to in reimbursement after a claim.
Tornado Coverage for Renters
If you rent your home in tornado country, you might have wondered what you’d be liable for in the event of a destructive twister. The rule for tornadoes is the same for any type of natural disaster: renters are only liable for damage to their own personal property. Any damage to the home itself, whether it’s a single-family home, a guest house, an apartment, or something else, is covered by the owner’s own home insurance policy. This might be traditional homeowners insurance, condo insurance, or another policy depending on the type of dwelling you live in.
In the event of a damaging tornado, your renters insurance policy is likely to cover the following:
Personal Belongings: Depending on the specifics of your policy, you may be awarded the actual cash value or the replacement cost of your personal property. “Actual cash value” is the amount of money that your stuff is currently worth—what you paid for it when it was new, minus depreciation. “Replacement cost” is equal to the amount of money it would cost to purchase a new replacement today. It’s very important to double-check what your policy offers well before you need it.
Accommodations: If your rental is too badly damaged to occupy safely or comfortably, your renters insurance policy will likely pay for you to stay in a hotel until the necessary repairs have been made.
Tornado Coverage for Your Car
Your auto insurance policy likely covers most damage caused by tornadoes, including wind damage or damage from falling debris. Check to ensure your car insurance includes “ comprehensive coverage.” These are the magic words in your policy that will ensure your ride is safe in extreme weather. Tornado insurance inclusions on standard homeowners insurance policies will likely not cover damages to your car after high winds from a twister.
If you live in a manufactured or mobile home, you will want to take a closer look at your HO3 policy to see what’s covered when it comes to tornado damage.
Tornado Insurance: The Bottom Line
Don’t let your largest financial get swept away. Make sure your homeowners insurance policy covers tornadoes before it’s too late. Insurify allows you to compare home insurance quotes from top-rated companies in just minutes. Browse, Compare, Discover with Insurify today!