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Tornadoes Happen Every Year. Are You Prepared?
In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported nationwide. Oftentimes, homes close to a tornado are damaged or destroyed by wind, rain and flying debris.
A concern for many home and business owners is what types of natural disasters are covered under their insurance policy. Whether or not destruction from tornadoes is covered perplexes many homeowners. The promising news is that most insurance policies cover “wind events” for home and business owners. Indeed, tornadoes are considered a “wind event.” If you carefully review your policy, you can investigate whether your policy includes coverage for wind events.
It is critical to know if wind events are included in your policy, especially if you live in what is termed tornado alley, the section of the United States from Texas north, including Nebraska and Indiana. In the United States, certain portions of the South encounter reoccurring tornado outbreaks. Because residents of tornado alley and the South are frequently exposed to tornadoes, they must be certain they are covered for wind events. Unfortunately, numerous insurance companies have denied wind damage coverage for these danger zones.
If you live in an area susceptible to hurricanes, it is also vital for your coverage to be inclusive of wind and tornado damage. The effects of hurricanes include significant ocean swells as well as extensive flood damage. Tornadoes only cause structural wind damage. The dilemma occurs when a hurricane makes landfall and causes only sporadic wind damage to residencies and companies, but extensive flood damage caused by excessive rainfall and storm surge.
If you are a victim of a tornado, what steps should you follow? First and foremast, discuss the damage with your insurance representative. State to state regulations vary and may effect how long you have to make an insurance claim or account for damage.
Be aware that insurance claims are often ranked in order of level of destruction. Home or business owners whose possessions have been annihilated will receive precedence over those with reduced or minor damage.
If you own or can borrow a camera, it would be wise to capture images of the home and property destruction. Likewise, and of equal importance, is to account for ruined possessions. This inventory can be part of your claim, and you may be recompensed for these items. Ask for the name of any insurance representatives you speak with, and write down details of your communication with them. You might need to cite these details later. Check with the Better Business Bureau or research internet reviews before you sign a home repair contract; by doing so, you can avoid scams and be sure the contractor or company is reputable.
If you can’t live in your home, your insurance policy should pay additional living expenses. Review your policy for detailed coverage explanations. In addition, review your insurance policy once a year to make sure you have enough coverage to rebuild based on current construction costs.
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