Tornadoes are terrifying. From high wind speeds to torrential rain and power-outages, these storms can cause more widespread damage than any other. In fact, tornadoes cause some of the fastest wind speeds ever recorded on earth. And since tornadoes move quickly, they can flatten a town in minutes.
Tornadoes are also indiscriminate and mysterious. They are still the most unknown force of nature around. A tornado has occurred in every state in the U.S., Delaware included.
One major factor in protecting your home and your family is by finding quotes and purchasing insurance to cover disasters such as a tornado.
Tornados Happen More Often in Delaware Than You May Think
- About 1,200 tornadoes touch down in the U.S. every year.
- There has been at least one tornado every year for the past two years, and more than 50 tornadoes in the past 50 years.
- Delaware has more tornadoes per square mile every year than half the other states in the nation.
While Delaware does not reside in the infamous "Tornado Alley," it has seen its share of devastating tornadoes.
One major way to protect your family from a tornado is to have an emergency plan in place, along with alternate locations for your family to stay, food rations at the ready, and access to a weather radio. One other important way to be protected is to have sufficient tornado insurance coverage.
Do I Need to Have Separate Tornado Insurance?
The damage from a tornado is typically covered under a homeowners policy, as damage from wind is included. Many people get confused, however, as damage from flooding and hurricanes is not typically included in a homeowners insurance policy.
When reviewing your homeowners insurance policy -- which is recommended every year or so -- be sure that it's up to date on the value of your belongings. Also, if you've remodeled anything in your Delaware home, added an addition or extra room, or done any major purchasing, this should also be taken into account when reviewing your policy to be sure that your coverage limits are appropriate in case of a tornado.
To get a good idea for what your belongings are worth, take a home inventory. Go room by room, inventorying any item, along with its worth. Additionally, take pictures of any expensive items, heirloom items, or antiques. Make sure to write down any serial numbers as well. Add the total from all of the rooms, and double it, to be sure you are covered.
If you have done construction on your home, order an appraisal on it or obtain an overall value of the construction to that your home's value is accurate on your homeowners insurance policy.
What Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover?
A homeowners insurance policy in Delaware typically covers most perils, excluding flooding, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Here is what an average homeowners policy in Delaware may cover:
The dwelling: This covers the actual structure of the home, including plumbing and electrical systems. Make sure that the policy limit is at least 80 percent of the replacement cost of the home; otherwise, there may be a reduction in the reimbursement. This covers damage from wind, rain, fire, and vandalism.
Other structures: This includes buildings like a pool house, tool shed, or garage. The same 80 percent coverage factor, mentioned above, applies.
Personal property: This coverage includes all your personal belongings. The coverage is usually capped at 50 percent of the limit for the dwelling. For example, a $200,000 home is able to secure $100,000 in belongings.
Loss of use: If you cannot live in your home due to damage from an included event, your insurance may pay for you to live elsewhere. However, this is usually limited to 20 percent of the home's covered value.
Personal liability: If someone is injured on your property, this covers you from financial responsibility up to the limit. An umbrella policy is usually recommended for individuals with high net worth.
Medical payments to others: If an injury in your Delaware home occurs and the injured party has to have medical attention, this insurance can cover those expenses.
What About My Car, Boat or RV?
Delaware requires that automobile owners carry the following insurance minimums:
- $10,000 for property damage
- $15,000 for bodily injury or death of one person
- $30,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people
For boats, RVs or ATVS, if you lease, rent, or took out a loan to purchase the item, you are required (typically by the lender) to carry insurance on that item.
Unfortunately, liability insurance does not cover you from tornado damage. In order to be covered from damages that occur from a tornado, you must have comprehensive insurance on the item. Comprehensive insurance acts as tornado coverage, and addresses everything other than collision, including damage from rain, fire, wind, and vandalism.
How Much Is a Tornado Insurance Quote in Delaware?
Quotes vary greatly depending on a variety of factors. When shopping for tornado insurance in Delaware, be sure to have all pertinent information ready. Your insurance agent may ask you questions that will affect your quote, such as the following:
- Location of home
- Size of home
- Value of home
- Your credit score
- Any attached/detached structures
- Building materials
- Value of belongings
- Desired coverage
- Desired deductible
The answers to these questions will be used to calculate your quote.
Are There Discounts Available on Tornado Insurance?
Delaware insurance companies offer discounts on most types of insurance policies. This is not an exhaustive list, but be sure to ask about the following discounts if they apply to you:
- New customer discount
- Loyal customer discount
- Good credit discount
- Claims-free discount
- Security system discount
- Paid-in full discount
- Multi-policy discount
- Auto-pay discount
- Military discount
- Educator discount
Some of these discounts, or a combination thereof, may offer you 20-30 percent savings on your insurance premium, so be sure to ask your insurance agent about all discounts available.
How Do I Find Tornado Insurance in Delaware?
Understanding tornado coverage, auto coverage, and homeowners insurance can be tricky, and it's important to have someone knowledgeable to guide you to the perfect coverage for you and your family. A Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent is always available to help answer questions, discuss coverage options, and even help file a claim.
Contact a Trusted Choice agent near you to find out how you and your home can be fully protected against tornado damage with an insurance policy that meets your needs and budget.