Does Renters Insurance Cover Tornado Damage

Q&A Renters: Does Renters Insurance Cover Tornado Damage?

(Here's what you need to know about your coverage)

Table of Contents

Does renters insurance cover tornado damage?
How does renters insurance cover tornado damage?
Does renters insurance cover related issues, like flooding?
What if the structure of my rental property is damaged or destroyed?

Does renters insurance cover tornado damage?

I recently moved to a tornado-prone area and I'm curious whether my renters insurance policy is sufficient to cover any damage that a tornado could cause. Do I need to purchase separate coverage, or is my standard policy sufficient?

Renters insurance covers damage or destruction due to named perils. Wind-related damage is a named peril in almost all insurance policies, so you're covered if a tornado wreaks havoc on your property.

It's important to keep in mind that you can choose whether your renters insurance policy provides replacement cost coverage or actual cost coverage. 

The difference is that replacement cost coverage reimburses you for the cost of replacing a similar item today, whereas actual cash value coverage reimburses you for the item's actual depreciated value before the damage occurred. These values are subject to your policy limits. 

If you're unsure of which type of coverage is best for you, talk to your independent insurance agent to clear up any lingering confusion.

How does renters insurance cover tornado damage?

You already know from the question above that renters insurance will pay for damaged or destroyed personal property due to a tornado. However, there are additional ways renters insurance helps when there's a tornado, such as:

  • Living expense coverage: If you're displaced after a tornado, renters insurance will kick in to pay for the cost of a hotel or alternate shelter while your residence is repaired.
  • Temporary repairs: If your property is damaged and would be covered by your renters insurance, your policy may pay for temporary repairs if those repairs will prevent further harm.
  • Damages due to lost power: If a tornado knocks out your power and spoils all of the food in your refrigerator, renters insurance may pay for the cost of replacing your food.

There are other potential damages that could be covered. But as is the case with all policies, you should check with your independent agent to discuss what renters insurance covers, what it doesn't, and where you may need additional protection.

Does renters insurance cover related issues, like flooding?

No, renters insurance won't cover issues like flooding. Remember, renters insurance covers named perils. Flooding isn't a named peril because flood policies are a special type of coverage you'd need to purchase separately. 

In fact, depending on where you live (i.e., whether your property is located in a flood zone) and what your mortgage or lease states, you may be required to purchase a separate flood policy.

If you're confused as to what flood insurance is or are interested in purchasing this form of separate coverage, your independent insurance agent can answer your questions.

What if the structure of my rental property is damaged or destroyed?

If you're renting, the structure of your apartment or home is not your responsibility. Instead, it's your landlord's responsibility. This means that if there is some sort of tornado damage to the roof, siding, a window, or something structurally similar, you don't need to be concerned whether your renters policy covers it. 

Instead, your landlord has a landlord insurance policy that may help him or her help pay for repairs. Just keep in mind that a landlord policy doesn't cover your personal belongings. 

Talk to your independent agent to discuss what your renters insurance covers versus what your landlord is responsible for to ensure you know where to turn should a tornado strike.

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