Can You Breathe Easy? The Basics of Insurance Protection for a Tornado

Western Kentucky has dealt with an enormous amount of tornado damage in the past few months. And that has prompted people to wonder whether insurance will cover their homes, cars, and possessions if a storm ever wrecks their property. It’s an important question to ask because the answer is: it depends. Policies vary greatly, and insurance coverage for a tornado often considers the type of damage needing repair and how it occurred. So, let’s look at the issue more closely.

 

Wind

 

Most standard home insurance policies cover damage caused by wind and storms. Therefore, if a tornado blows a tree or fence into the side of your home, then your policy will probably cover the repairs. However, that changes if the situation involves maintenance issues. For example, if you let the tree or fence rot before the storm blows it down, then insurance may not apply.

 

Flooding

 

Unfortunately, flooding is not covered by a standard home insurance policy. Therefore, if a creek overflows during a tornado and floods your basement, your home insurance coverage most likely won’t apply. So instead, you will need to purchase flood insurance separately.

 

A standard policy protects against water damage only when covered perils cause those issues. For example, suppose the tornado blows out your kitchen windows, and rainwater seeps into the drywall. Then, your policy will probably cover the repairs because wind is typically a covered peril.

 

Vehicle damage

 

You probably will have auto insurance coverage for a tornado, depending on what kind of policy you have. Suppose the storm causes you to lose control on the road. In that case, collision coverage will help in the aftermath of an accident. Or, if you have comprehensive coverage, then your policy will protect your property against dangers like falling trees or flying debris.

 

How to prepare

 

The best way to prepare for a storm is to understand your policy and whether it includes insurance coverage for a tornado. Then, you can always upgrade your coverage if needed. You should also take some time to assemble an emergency kit and learn the basics of tornado safety.

 

Storms are unpredictable, so get ready now.