When the winds subside following a tornado, there aren’t munchkins, ruby slippers, and a yellow brick road. There’s nothing magical about the damage that can be left in the path of a tornado. If you experience damage from a tornado, how do you know if your repairs are covered? Determining whether your coverage includes tornado damage insurance is the first step toward repairing the damages.
Is Tornado Damage Covered Under a Homeowner’s Insurance Policy?
The majority of the time, tornado damage insurance is included in the homeowner’s policy. However, it is recommended to ask your insurance agent if you are unsure. Simply assuming you are covered is not the best practice!
One suggestion to determine your home’s coverage is to thoroughly review your policy. Look for tornados and other terms such as “windstorms.” Dwelling coverage often helps with repairs when a tornado has resulted in damage to your home, so review the storm damage claim information in your homeowner’s insurance policy for the details.
Dwelling coverage includes your home and connected structures such as attached garage. Basic homeowner’s insurance includes Dwelling coverage and also includes Other Structures covering such things as sheds, pools, unattached garages and other unattached structures, as well as Personal Property, Personal Liability Protection, Medical Payments and Additional Living Expenses coverage.
What If the Damage Wasn’t Caused Directly by a Tornado?
Tornadoes bring extremely high winds as well as rain, both of which can cause substantial damage. When your home is covered for tornado damage, it’s likely that you are also covered for issues caused by the tornado. Trees can be blown into homes doing damage to roofs and other parts of your house that were otherwise unscathed by the tornado itself. In most circumstances, this type of damage would be covered.
Caution About Tornado Damage Insurance & Storm Damage Claims
There are instances where your storm damage claim could be denied. With any insurance policy, the expectation is that the proper precautions to avoid damage will be taken by the homeowner. When there are circumstances that could be avoided or negligence resulting in damages, denial of a claim can occur.
One example would be tree damage. If a tree falls on your home during a storm, but it is determined that there was already a risk of falling because it was rotted, having the tree taken down prior to the storm can be seen as a responsibility that was yours.
Another example of homeowner responsibility comes post storm. When a storm has passed and damage has occurred, taking actions like covering broken windows to prevent further water damage is an expectation of homeowner responsibility. Removal of wet items like carpets that can be a breeding ground for mold is another action that is expected if you want to avoid claim denial of your tornado damage insurance.
What to Do When You Need to File a Storm Damage Claim
Documenting everything you can is important. Video or photographs of the damage following the storm can be helpful. Having an updated home inventory is helpful as well. When you understand that the more documentation you have and the sooner you can file your claim, the sooner the insurance and repair process can get underway. Any repair expenses that you’ve incurred should be accompanied by receipts to help move the claim process along smoothly.
There may not be a yellow brick road, but following the advice of your insurance agent is an excellent path to being prepared with tornado damage insurance before a tornado strikes, as well as helping to pick up the pieces with storm damage claims following one.
Contact Iott Insurance for a Quote Today
Iott Insurance has been a part of southeast Michigan for over 50 years. We can help you plan your insurance needs and find you the right policies or plans to protect you.
Or you can visit one of our three offices in southeast Michigan:
Blissfield, MI – (517) 628-4574
Lambertville, MI – (734) 807-3825
Petersburg, MI – (734) 215-9884
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