Each year, more than 1,000 tornadoes touch down in the United States, though you can expect around 20 to be extremely dangerous. If you reside in Tornado Alley — ranging from central Texas to western Ohio — you’ll want to be sure your home is protected in the case of this violent natural disaster. Read on to find out if your homeowners insurance policy covers tornado damage.
Does homeowners insurance cover tornado damage?
Tornadoes are one of the most expensive disasters to repair; luckily, it’s covered under most homeowners insurance policies. If your home is in the path of an extensive storm, you could lose most, if not all, of your personal belongings and your home could potentially be destroyed. With a standard homeowners insurance policy, you can protect your belongings in the event of a tornado.
When homeowners insurance will cover tornado damage
Homeowners insurance typically covers tornado damage caused by wind, rain, or hail. It’s important to research the maximum amount your insurance company will cover in the case of a tornado.
Most homeowners insurance policies will “cap” the replacement of certain items based on the specific coverage and policy you have. If you own a lot of expensive things (artwork, electronics, or something extremely valuable) you will need to pay an additional fee for your prized possessions to be covered.
Additionally, you’ll want to ensure your homeowners policy will cover the amount it would cost to rebuild your home in the event it’s destroyed by a tornado (or another disaster).
When homeowners insurance will not cover tornado damage
While tornado wind damage may be covered in your standard insurance policy, most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover tornado damage caused by a flood. But if rainwater enters your home through an opening in your home caused by tornado winds, the result of water damage would be covered.
So, even if your policy offers protection against wind, damage caused by flooding likely would not be covered. You may be able to purchase a separate flood insurance policy within your insurance company. Read more about flood insurance and how to get it in our flood insurance guide.
How much does homeowners insurance cost for tornado damage?
Fortunately, the cost of tornado insurance is most likely already built in your standard homeowners insurance policy. If you live in an area that often is hit by tornadoes, you’ll likely pay a higher premium than those who live in an area less susceptible to natural disasters.
Wondering what the cheapest homeowners insurance companies are in your area? Check out the best and cheapest homeowners insurance companies.
How to protect your home from tornado damage
Besides purchasing insurance coverage to protect your home and personal property in the case of a tornado, you should also take steps to minimize the opportunity for damage from a storm. The biggest threat during a tornado is the flying debris. One of the most important steps to prevent this from happening is securing away lightweight objects that can possibly be blown around.
Tips to ensure your home is safe before a tornado hits include:
- Putting away lawn furniture
- Trimming and cleaning up trees and bushes
- Add temporary or permanent storm shutters on windows, doors, and garage doors.
How much damage can a tornado do?
The damage a tornado can do greatly depends on the wind speed. A tornado with a speed between 65 to 85 miles per hour, typically only does light damage. A tornado ranging in speed between 113 to 157 mph may cause sufficient damage, lifting cars off the ground and shifting home foundations. The highest rated tornado speed is more than 200 mph and will likely destroy anything and everything in its path. You should make sure your homeowners insurance policy limits are high enough if you live in a common tornado area.
Have you filed a claim after experiencing tornado damage? Tell us about your experience by writing a review of your insurance company.
Not sure your home is protected for tornado damage by a good homeowners insurance company? See how other homeowners rate your company and see which home insurance companies are rated the best in your state.
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