Does Insurance Cover Tornado Damage to Your Home?

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Does Insurance Cover Tornado Damage to Your Home?Does homeowners insurance cover tornado damage?

There may be no more famous tornado in all of history than that in The Wizard of Oz, which led our protagonist Dorothy on an unexpectedly fun adventure, given that, you know, she was picked up by a tornado. Unfortunately for us mere mortals, when a twister hits off the silver screen, we aren’t as likely to end up in the land of Munchkins and ruby slippers. Instead, what it often leads to — no matter where you are — is a heck of a lot of damage. Toto, we definitely aren’t in Kansas anymore! And that’s where insurance kicks in.

Does homeowners insurance cover tornado damage?

The good news is that your standard homeowners or renters insurance policy does cover damage from wind or hail, i.e. a tornado. That being said, you’ll still want to verify that it is a named peril. If you have a named peril policy, coverage is only provided for the perils that are explicitly listed (which is why it’s always important to read your policy’s declaration page!). 

The less good news is that many providers have what they call “wind deductibles,” which are separate from your regular policy deductible. These are more common in states where tornadoes occur more frequently, and they often mean that you have to pay a lot more out of pocket before you can make a wind-related claim. So if you live in tornado alley, you may want to look into additional coverage.

What to know about wind/hail deductibles

Even if you don’t live in one of the states that make up tornado alley, here’s a friendly (scary) reminder that tornadoes can occur pretty much everywhere. According to The National Severe Storms Laboratory, around 1,200 tornadoes touch down each year all across the country. And even if your homeowners policy does offer coverage, you’ll still have a deductible to pay — and there will be limits depending on the plan you have. 

In fact, up until just a few years ago, deductibles were usually only a couple hundred dollars — but now, they can easily run into the thousands. This is especially true for policies with a percentage wind/hail deductible: in those cases, the deductible is a percentage (usually 1-3%) of your home’s total insured value. This could end up costing a lot of money and putting the homeowner in a particularly challenging position, given that the average American has less than $1,000 in savings. And that’s where tornado insurance comes in — but more on that shortly! 

Can you get coverage for tornado damage to the rest of your property?

In the event of a tornado, it isn’t just your home that you have to worry about. While your insurance might pay for repairs to your property, you may have damage to your personal property or you might need to live elsewhere while the building you live in is being fixed. If this seems like it could be the case, riders and additional policies could bolster the coverage you already have. 

And when it comes to your vehicle, if you have comprehensive car insurance, then you’ll be protected. These policies cover damage from events outside of your control — and a tornado definitely qualifies as an event outside of your control. 

How to insure yourself against tornados

Tornados are terrifying, even in the land of Oz. So to put your mind at ease, you’ll want to make sure you have the coverage you need. At Marble, we recommend looking at adding a supplemental tornado policy to your portfolio — which is exactly what our partners at Sola offer. A Sola policy helps homeowners cover their deductible and immediate expenses following a tornado (especially for homes in the Midwest and Southeast US). The company uses National Weather Service data to confirm the areas that were impacted by a tornado and provide payouts within days — so homeowners like you can bounce back that much faster.  

If you’re ready to get yourself a tornado policy (or a homeowners policy or an auto policy or…you get it), check out Marble, where you can shop, compare, and receive quotes from different providers all in one place. And once you’ve found the best policy for your needs and budget, you can store the details in your online wallet. We can all agree that’s much easier than finding a pair of Ruby slippers!