Strong thunderstorms sometimes give rise to tornadoes, strong rotating winds that damage all in their path. Tornado statistics are impressive:
- Swaths of damage can exceed one mile wide and 50 miles long.
- To “outrun” a fast tornado in a car, you would need to accelerate to a minimum of 70 miles per hour.
- A tornado can hop, thus destroying a house and leaving the neighboring house undamaged.
Impressive stats, but scary.
Everyone in the Midwest knows to seek safe shelter when a tornado approaches. Going to the basement and staying away from windows may spare you, but your house may not be so fortunate. While you can’t protect your property from damage, you can make sure you have the financial means to repair or replace damaged property by getting insurance.
Most homeowners policies cover tornado and windstorm damage, but you should check with your insurance agent to make sure. Your policy should cover expenses related to the total loss of your home, loss of other structures, loss of personal property, and living expenses. The typical homeowners policy, such as an HO3 or HO5, includes these as Coverages A, B, C, and D respectively.
In the event of a tornado, your insurance company will pay out an amount up to your policy limit less your deductible if you have adequate insurance. In other words you need the right kind of coverage and the right dollar amount of coverage.
The dollar amount of coverage should be at least 80% of what it would cost to rebuild your home. This sum is not what you paid for your house or what it would sell for, rather is the amount of money you would need to pay for materials and labor to rebuild. If you don’t have adequate insurance, your recovery will be limited. For example, if you only insure for an amount equal to 50% of the estimated rebuilding cost, the insurance company will limit your recovery to 50% of your expenses stemming from a partial loss less your deductible.
Since 1974, Reis Insurance has been helping people figure out the kind and amount of insurance they need. Stop by our office, located at 220 S. Main Street, River Falls, WI 54022 or call 715-425-6721 to discuss coverage. We can’t insure good weather, but we can help you with insurance that will blunt the financial impact of a tornado.