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Understanding Tornado Insurance Coverage

Updated March 5, 2024 . AmFam Team

Tornadoes — powerful forces of nature that can blow in from nowhere, no matter where you live. But while you can’t stop Mother Nature, you can be ready for her. With some smart tornado safety prep, you and the people you love can weather the storm.

But what about your house, your car and all your other valuable stuff? Does your insurance coverage keep these things protected from the impact of a twister? If you’re looking for those answers, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s how you can make sure your valuables are protected from the unexpected.

Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover Tornado Damage?

The answer is — in most policies — yes. Unlike floods or earthquakes, tornadoes usually don’t require special coverage. That’s because the insurance industry classifies tornadoes as windstorms, and windstorms are covered by most insurance policies.

Tornadoes are no match for a well-built homeowners policy. Some do more than help you regroup and restore — they could even cover temporary housing expenses while your home is being repaired or rebuilt. Check with your American Family Insurance agent to make sure you’re covered with the right homeowners insurance and add-on coverages.

Wondering whether your homeowners insurance covers other weather events like hail, ice storm, or wildfires? Check out our guide to storm and catastrophe damage coverage.

The Importance of Personal Property Coverage

The best insurance policies don’t stop at covering your walls, roof and other parts of your home — they make sure everything you’ve worked for is protected. Here’s why personal property coverage is such a valuable part of your homeowner’s policy:

It protects your belongings from more than just tornado damage. If a tornado rolls through and damages your belongings, your personal property coverage could help you recoup those losses and/or replace those items. But that’s not all it does — it also protects from theft, vandalism and other weather-related events like wildfire or lightning.

It can protect your pets, too. Adding pet coverage to your personal property insurance could get you up to $1,000 in coverage for veterinarian or funeral expenses for your pet as a result of a covered loss.

Interested? Get in touch with your agent today. Then, use these tips to make the claims policy go smoothly if you ever need to make one:

Create a home inventory. Use our home inventory checklist to keep track of your valuables. Hold on to receipts to verify how much your items cost and make sure to keep backup physical and electronic copies of your home inventory in case one gets damaged or destroyed.

Know whether you have RCV or ACV. Actual cash value (ACV) would pay you what your property is worth today in the event of a loss, while replacement cost value (RCV) would cover what it would cost to replace your damaged property with new property of the same kind, type and quality. Not sure what you have? Ask your agent!

Does Car Insurance Cover Tornado Damage?

If you have comprehensive insurance built into your American Family car insurance policy, your car will typically be covered from damage caused by a tornado.

Comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle from the unexpected — and damage due to a tornado falls in that category. What is comprehensive coverage? It's insurance that pays for damage caused by accidents that don't involve colliding with another vehicle or object. So, it helps protect you from things like theft, collisions with animals and — you guessed it — tornadoes. While comprehensive coverage is a wise investment for all policy-holders, it’s a must-have in regions where tornadoes are common. 

Feeling better about protecting your valuables from tornado damage? We hope so. But if you have more questions about your policies or want to make sure you’ve got all the coverage you need, your American Family agent is always ready to help.

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