Although tornadoes aren't extremely common in Oregon, neither are they rare. Because residents don't experience as many twisters in Portland as they do in Oklahoma, many wonder if their homeowners insurance is up to the task of helping them rebuild following a tornado. What coverage does your insurance policy provide? Do you know? Before you search for tornado insurance quotes, there are several factors to keep in mind.
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History of Tornadoes in Oregon
These are Oregon tornado facts according to the Tornado History Project:
- No serious injuries were reported in the tornado that struck the small town of Aumsville about 45 miles south of Portland in December 2010, tearing roofs off buildings, hurling objects into vehicles and homes, and uprooting trees. But the damage was extensive.
- Oregon experiences a handful of small tornadoes every year, but occasionally a huge home-wrecking twister comes along.
- A massive F3 tornado struck Clark and Multnomah counties in the spring of 1972, killing six, injuring 300 and causing more than $50 million in property damage.
What Is Tornado Insurance?
Unlike earthquake and flood coverage, tornado coverage is typically part of your standard homeowners insurance policy. Residents do not need additional riders in order to ensure coverage. However, that means homeowners must carefully review their insurance policies to be sure they are robust enough to withstand the potentially devastating effects of a tornado.
So, while you don't have to search for special insurance coverage, you should review your policy to make certain your coverage is sufficient.
What Tornado Coverage Does Homeowners Insurance Provide?
Your homeowners insurance will typically include the following tornado coverage:
- Dwelling: The covers the main structure of the house. This does not include personal assets.
- Other structures: This portion covers items such as an attached garage or shed physically connected to the main dwelling.
- Personal property: This coverage includes all of your personal property.
- Loss of use: If your home sustains damage during a storm and is uninhabitable, this coverage covers your costs for a hotel or rental dwelling.
What Are the Best Coverage Options for Protection Against Tornadoes?
You want to be sure you have enough dwelling coverage to help you completely rebuild your home and other structures in the event a twister levels them. You also want to be sure your personal property coverage options are adequate to replace the belongings you keep inside your home. Most standard OR homeowner insurance allows you to choose between actual cash value and replacement cost reimbursement methods:
- Actual cash value: This type of reimbursement takes depreciation into account. If a tornado destroys your 15-year-old furnace, your insurance company will only reimburse you the value of a used 15-year-old furnace.
- Replacement cost: This type of reimbursement ignores depreciation. Using the same example, your insurance company would pay you the cost to replace your old furnace with a comparable new one.
If your home contains several old appliances, you may want to choose replacement cost coverage. While this coverage option may increase your premiums slightly, the additional protection may be worth it.
Do You Have Tornado Coverage for Your Car, Boat or ATV?
Your standard homeowners insurance policy most likely won't cover your vehicles in the event of a tornado. In order to obtain sufficient tornado insurance coverage for vehicular damage, you will need to purchase comprehensive coverage on each of these items.
Comprehensive coverage covers all damage other than collision. This includes damage from events like tornadoes, wind, fire, theft and vandalism. If you have a loan for any of these items, you will probably have to carry comprehensive insurance. However, even if you own the item outright, it's still a wise idea to protect your owned item with a comprehensive insurance policy.
Is Having Sufficient Tornado Coverage Expensive?
After you review your homeowners insurance policy, you may find that with a few tweaks here and a small adjustment there, your coverage can be robust enough without much change to your premium. While you compare your current policy to others available, you may even discover better coverage for lower premiums with a different carrier. Reviewing your insurance policies for gaps and limitations is important for recovering quickly from a tornado, as well as from fires, winter storms and other disasters.
Where To Find Quotes for Tornado Insurance
You could attempt to review your existing policy on your own, but the smart idea is to contact a knowledgeable, independent insurance agent in the Trusted Choice® network. These experienced agents can help identify any gaps in your current coverage, suggest additional options and get a number of quotes from a variety of insurance companies for you to compare.
Contact a Trusted Choice member agent near you for a selection of quotes, and then select the best coverage at the most affordable rates.