While many movies like “The Wizard of Oz” make natural disasters in Kansas seem much worse than they are, most of us know Kansas for its history of tornadoes. The state has had a very active weather history, with tornadoes hitting almost every single year. When a tornado hits, it's critical to do everything you can to remain safe. Once the storm passes, however, it can be easy to get lost in the chaos. Getting reasonable quotes and then securing adequate tornado insurance to cover your belongings and your property is one very important way to help you recover from a tornado.
Tornadoes are violent and unpredictable. While the majority of tornadoes in KS are EF 0-1 (about 60%), the few that cause damage do so in a big way. These twisting plumes of wind can destroy cities in mere minutes and homes in fractions of a second. With such a large risk present in KS, it's incredibly important for renters and homeowners alike to have adequate insurance in place to cover tornadoes.
Tornado insurance isn't a separate policy. Thankfully, homeowners insurance covers wind damage – like the damage from tornadoes. Your homeowners insurance policy covers damage caused by rain, wind, and fire.
One very important thing to think about when considering your tornado coverage is the amount of coverage you have. As previously stated, 64 percent of homes have less-than-adequate insurance, and over 65 percent of renters don't carry renters insurance. If you're a homeowner with an underinsured home and your home sustains damage due to a tornado, you'll be paying a large percentage out of pocket to fix your home. This is a simple fix, however: Get adequate coverage for your home and belongings.
Since your homeowners insurance covers wind damage, in the event of a tornado, you will typically have coverage. A homeowners insurance policy may cover the following:
The dwelling: Your home is your most important asset. Dwelling coverage will cover damage to your home and any attached structures from perils like fire, wind and rain. You should get your home insured to at least 80 percent of its worth, or the maximum the policy will allow.
Other structures: This includes structures not attached to the main home such as tool sheds, pool houses or shops.
Personal property: This coverage includes your personal assets such as furniture, appliances, electronics and personal items. Coverage is usually limited to 50 percent of the dwelling coverage amount.
Loss of use: This coverage is usually limited to 20 percent of the dwelling coverage amount and allows you to find temporary housing if your dwelling becomes uninhabitable due to a covered event.
Personal liability: This coverage protects you from financial responsibility in case you are responsible for an injury that takes place in your home. This also applies to third-party property damage, libel and slander.
Medical payments to others: If someone, other than a family member, sustains injuries in your home, this coverage can help pay for the person's medical expenses.
Tornadoes are indiscriminate in their damage. Even if your car or boat is in your garage, it may not be covered by your homeowners insurance policy. In order to get coverage for these items, you'll need to have comprehensive insurance in place when the damage occurs. Typically, lenders require this insurance, along with liability and collision insurance, in order to have the asset protected in case of a total loss. Comprehensive insurance covers "everything other than collision," so events like a tornado, fire, or theft are covered. If you already have this insurance in place on these items, be sure to review the coverage to make sure it is sufficient to replace the item – especially if you have done any upgrades.
When covering your items against damage from a tornado, your insurance agent will need to be familiar with your home in order to give you accurate insurance quotes. Be sure to have the following information ready when shopping for tornado insurance quotes:
All of these factors will go into calculating quotes in order to give you the best coverage at the lowest price.
Typically, there are many discounts available on a homeowners insurance policy. The discounts may include the following:
Always ask whether you're eligible for discounts you may not have been eligible for previously, and ask about discounts you may not be aware of.
When it comes to insuring you home and belongings from the damage of a tornado, it's important to have a professional by your side to help you get the coverage that works best for you. A Trusted Choice® agent is always available to help answer questions, go over coverage or even help you file a claim.
Contact your local Trusted Choice agent for quotes, and make sure you have the coverage you need.