Tornado Recovery: What's Covered for My Home?

Tornado Recovery: What's Covered for My Home?

Tornado Recovery: What's Covered for My Home?

It's estimated that about 1,200 tornadoes touch the ground in the United States every single year. These tornados range from F1 storms that typically only cause light damage to massive F5 storms capable of leveling entire neighborhoods. 2010-2020, however, tornadoes caused an average of $2.5 million in damages per storm.

One of the most important parts of recovering from tornado damage is filing a claim on your homeowner's insurance policy. To help you navigate this process, let's closely examine what typically is and is not covered by a homeowner's insurance policy when it comes to tornado damage to a home.

What Is Covered

A standard homeowner's insurance policy will cover a lot of different damages and expenses caused by a tornado, including expenses such as:

Dwelling Coverage

Dwelling coverage (commonly called "Coverage A") covers your home. If your home's roof, walls, windows, or any other element of the building's structure is damaged by a tornado, dwelling coverage will provide reimbursement for repairs.

Other Structures

Along with covering damages to your home, most homeowner's insurance policies will also cover tornado damage to "other structures" on your property. This includes structures such as garages, sheds, barns, and fences.

Personal Belongings

"Coverage C" in a homeowner's insurance policy covers personal belongings. If a tornado damages items such as electronics, appliances, clothing, or furniture, your homeowner's insurance policy should cover the repair or replacement cost. However, it is a good idea to take inventory of the items in your house ahead of time, complete with photographs, to facilitate a smooth claims process.

Additional Living Expenses

In some cases, damage caused by a tornado is so severe that it leaves the home temporarily uninhabitable. In these cases, your homeowner's insurance policy may provide coverage for what is known as "additional living expenses" or "loss of use." This includes lodging, meals, and other essential expenses incurred while your home is being repaired or rebuilt.

What Isn't Covered

A quality homeowner's insurance policy usually provides much coverage for tornado damage, absorbing the brunt of the financial blow these dangerous storms can cause. However, there are a few things that aren't typically covered by a standard homeowner's insurance policy, including:

Flood Damage

Most homeowners' insurance policies do not cover flood damage, including flood damage caused by the heavy rains that often accompany tornados. If you live in an area prone to flooding, consider purchasing a separate flood insurance policy.

Limited Coverage for Valuables

A homeowner's insurance policy usually only provides limited coverage for high-value items such as jewelry, artwork, and collectibles. If you are concerned about protecting these possessions, you may need to add a "floater" or "rider" to your policy to ensure adequate coverage.