Tornadoes can occur anytime, anywhere—and with that level of uncertainty, it pays to be prepared. According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), homeowners and renters should immediately contact their insurance professional to report tornado damage, and to find out the terms under which it is covered.
“After a homeowner offers an initial description of the damage to their insurer, an important first question to ask is the amount of the deductible,” says Lynne McChristian, the I.I.I.’s Catastrophe Response Director. “The deductible is the amount of the loss a property owner agrees to pay before insurance kicks in; this amount is typically subtracted from the claims payment. You will also want to ask how long it will take to process your claim and whether you’ll need to obtain estimates for repairs.”
Keep in mind standard homeowners policies cover damage caused by tornadoes, including wind damage to the structure itself and its contents. Homeowners policies also provide for additional living expenses to pay the costs of living away from home if a house is uninhabitable due to damage from an insured disaster.