Homeowners insurance and tornadoes

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdsdigital/4554359577/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdsdigital/4554359577/

Hurricanes, floods, mudslides, earthquakes, and tornadoes always get great coverage on the cable news networks. Images of destroyed homes and distraught families left with little or no possessions have become commonplace. These images are so common, in fact, that we’ve learned to ignore them at times. What people cannot ignore, however, is the reality of natural disasters and the effect they have on normal every day people.

For hurricanes, earthquakes or floods, homeowners will need to seek separate coverage in addition to their standard homeowner’s policy. For tornadoes, however, there is coverage under your existing policy. That’s because they are considered “wind events” by insurance companies. If you live in an area that experiences tornadoes such as Tornado Alley, the area of the country that runs north from Texas through eastern Nebraska and northeast to Indiana, you are probably well aware of the damage that a tornado can do. If you live outside of that area, however, you can still experience a twister. That’s why it’s smart to take a good look at your homeowner’s policy to see what your tornado coverage is like.

If a tornado damages your home, the first thing you should do is file a claim as soon as possible. Some insurance companies place a time limit on how long after the tornado occurs that you can file a claim, and this limit will vary from state to state. Document the damage with a video or digital camera right away and repair any damage such as a hole in the roof with plywood or a tarp before further harm comes to the inside of your home or belongings from the elements such as wind or rain. If there is damage to your personal items, make a list of those items and assign a value to them through research or sales records. Be as organized as you can so your claim can be handled more smoothly. Also make sure you communicate how severe the damage is to your insurance provider, as they will prioritize which claims they start on first according to which are the most severe.

Home Insurance Tornado Flood

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/overseasvoyager84/2262103731/

Don’t fall prey to suspicious companies who rush in after a tornado. Get multiple quotes from roofers or contractors and check on their references and credentials before having any work done. Your insurance agent may ask you to use a specific firm to do any repair work or provide you with a list to choose from. This is true for temporary repairs that you have done right away as much as it is for the permanent repair work you will need done. Both should be covered under your homeowner’s claim so save your receipts and paperwork to give to your claims agent.

The insurance company will pay for replacement of your damaged home or roof. Keep in mind, however, that they will not pay for you to replace the damage with better materials than you had before. If you had a shingled roof, for example, they won’t pay for you to replace it with a metal roof. If your home is uninhabitable while it is being fixed, the insurance company will also pay to move you and for the rent at a temporary residence until you can move back home.

Visit our website for more information or click here to see if you can save more money on your Arizona Home Insurance policy with a free quote.

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