If Mother Nature Relocates My House... Am I Covered?
3 Top Things to Know About Insurance During Tornado Season
So... you're just sitting on your couch, doing the Netflix-binge thing, and then all-of-the-sudden - BOOM!
A tornado hits, and you're instantly Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.
It's one of the scariest, most life-changing events anyone could go through; a moment that can alter your entire world, leaving you directionless in the carnage.
Thankfully, in the aftermath, there is some hope.
Moments like this is exactly what insurance is meant for.
Coverage for your family, for the damage done to your house, and for your new car now parked in the neighbor's tree.
It's there - as we've always said - for those moments when you need it most ... just in case.
But having insurance, just any old insurance - on your house, your car, or your life - doesn't necessarily mean that in this very specific situation, its the right insurance.
That's why today we're taking a deeper look at how insurance works when it comes to tornados, answering some of your most common questions and concerns along the way.
Do I Need "Tornado Insurance"?
So... yeah... there's a lot to unpack on this one.
First; let's be clear that there is actually no such thing as "Tornado Insurance".
This term - Tornado Insurance - is a simple case of mistaken identity.
It's a common term for a type of add-on coverage called Windstorm Insurance; sometimes referred to as Windstorm Coverage or Windstorm Damage.
This add-on is one that companies will often offer to people who reside in places where windstorms are a common thing; pretty much everyone and anyone living in the area referred to as "Tornado Alley".
Now that we have that part straightened out...
Let's get back to the original question, to which the answer is a resounding YES!
If you live in one of these high-risk "Tornado Alley" areas (Iowa, Ohio, Texas, etc.); then YES, you absolutely would want, and need, to acquire this specific Windstorm Insurance add-on for your Homeowner's Insurance policy.
It is the best way to make sure you're fully covered in the event that your home is hit by a tornado.
That being said, this YES answer really only applies to those of you living in these types of places...
The rules are a bit different for people who DO NOT live in high-risk windstorm areas.
For those who live where windstorms are a rarity; it is far more likely that your current Homeowners policy provides all the coverage you would ever need.
In the end, the definitive answer comes down to where you live, and who your insurance company is.
The best thing you can do is read-up on your policy, make sure you know all the ins-and-outs of what's covered and what isn't, and reach out to your agent for any questions.
How About My Car? Is it Covered?
When it comes to car insurance, there are three major terms to be aware of; Collision, Liability, and Comprehensive.
The first two are pretty much what they sound like they are; Collision is coverage relating to accidents, and Liability is protection for when the fault of the accident might be yours.
Neither are relevant to what we're talking about today, but the third one - Comprehensive - is.
In Comprehensive coverage is all the protection you need for those unforeseen incidents that can occur out-of-the-blue.
Things that are totally unexpected.
The neighbor's tree falls on your car. The hotel valet goes for a joy-ride. Banksy decides your taupe colored caravan is the perfect canvass.
Just about any random oddity you can think of is included under this Comprehensive coverage...
Including damage done by tornados.
So, long answer short - YES! Your car is likely covered.
Our best recommendation, as always, is to examine your policy's Comprehensive Coverage guidelines, and make sure you have the proper amount of coverage you need.
Do I Need to Have Personal Property Insurance?
Yes, Yes, and Yes.
Personal Property Coverage is another one that sounds exactly like what it is.
It's coverage to protect your "personal property"; your TVs, jewelry, computers...
Pretty much all the stuff you've ever collected and filled your home with.
Forgetting our scenario about tornados for a moment; Personal Property Coverage is something you want, and need, as part of your general Homeowner's Insurance.
While the Homeowner's Insurance protects the home itself - roof, walls, and all - the Personal Property Insurance protects everything inside the home...
So (going back to our Tornado-Ted-Talk), when the local twister decides to split your house in half, and all your cool stuff gets mangled in the process; it's the Personal Property Coverage that steps in to help cover the costs of things like repair or replacement to these items.
An absolute must in all situations - Wizard of Oz like, or not.
All quips and jokes aside; having your home destroyed is a devastating event that is not just scary, but life-altering in a way most of us would never wish on our worst enemies.
Without the right protections in place, that fear-induced life-changing moment can become even more hellish than you thought possible.
With "Tornado Season" bearing down on us quickly; there is no better time than now to dig deep on your policies, make sure you have all the coverage you need, and reach out to your agent for advice...
And if you're not confident that you have the right policy, coverage, or agent - we're just a phone call away.
Just in Case Insurance.
There for you when you need us... Just in case.