Is damage from a tornado covered under my home insurance policy?

There are few things in the world that are as frightening as a tornado. It is the embodiment of Mother Nature at her most destructive–an unstoppable force that destroys everything in its path. In the aftermath of a tornado, it’s hard to imagine that life can ever return to normal again, but it will, and in most cases, your homeowners insurance can help with that.

Homeowners insurance is designed to deal with catastrophic events, and a tornado is a prime example of one. They are often not specifically named as a covered peril on a policy, but they fall under the greater category of "windstorms." This category includes tornadoes, hurricanes and straight-line winds. The bottom line is that damage directly caused by the tornado will probably be covered by your insurance up to the limit of your coverage amount, less your deductible, of course. In cases where an area is so badly hit by tornadoes that it is declared a disaster area, you might even qualify for government funds to help pay your deductible and any expenses not covered by your insurance.

One thing to be aware of, though, is that there can be damage related to a tornado that might not be covered by homeowners insurance. For instance, a tornado may cause damage to retaining walls or water facilities that results in a flood. Floods, unfortunately, are not covered by most normal insurance policies, although there are special flood policies you can purchase.

As a homeowner, it’s always a good idea to know the limits and exclusions of your insurance policy. Even though a tornado will most likely be covered, you’ll want to know how much your home and belongings are insured for, what your deductible is and whether or not your living expenses are covered if you need to stay in a hotel until your home is repaired or rebuilt. One of the best ways to clear up these details is to go over your policy with your insurance agent. Also keep in mind that there are other options out there, so if you’re not happy with your coverage, or even if you just want to see if you’re getting a fair price, you can use our website to find a local agent and get live comparative quotes–chances are, we can find you the insurance you need.

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