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Tornado Damage Claim FAQs

A tornado completely destroyed our home. Will the insurance company pay for temporary housing? If so, for how long?

Most homeowner insurance policies cover temporary living expenses while a home is uninhabitable. The length of time and amount of benefits differs from policy to policy. If you have not yet requested a certified policy from your claim adjuster or agent, do so now. Your policy of insurance will spell out your duties, obligations and procedures during the insurance claim process.

What is a windstorm?

The insurance industry tends to group various types of perils into the broader “windstorm” category. Windstorms typically include tornadoes, hurricanes, and high winds. Windstorms can cause a wide variety of damage. For example, with wind-driven wildfires, a damaged property may have a combination of windstorm and fire damage while the high winds of a hurricane or tropical storm could blow off the roof and drive water and hail into the home.

How can using a public adjuster benefit my tornado damage claim?

An experienced public adjuster will know the ins and outs of the tornado insurance process and the claims practices of insurance companies. This gives the claimant the benefit of staying in control of the claim process, claim proceedings, negotiations and ahead of any potential issues that could result in delays and underpayments.

I have a standard homeowner insurance policy and live in Tornado Alley. Would my insurance policy cover a claim for tornado damage or would I need to purchase a separate tornado policy?

Tornados are typically covered perils; thus, your insurance policy most likely covers tornado damage. That said, your policy may impose a higher “windstorm” deductible depending on state insurance laws. A trusted public adjuster can determine if your claim would be subject to a higher windstorm deductible or not.

A tornado caused damage to my business. I filed a tornado claim with my insurance company and was told that it could take a claim adjuster two weeks to meet with me. What are the most important steps to do while I wait for the independent adjuster to inspect the damages?

Your insurance policy requires you to “mitigate damages” or you risk that further damages may not be covered. This means you must cover any breaches to your roof with plywood or tarp, board up or cover any broken windows or doors and secure all damaged business property items so that they are not further damaged.

Start to gather and organize financial documents such as bank statements and tax returns if you think there is a possibility you will file a claim for business income loss or business interruption. Photograph all damages. Create a spreadsheet of all the business property that was damaged by the tornado. The list should include item name, brand, age, quantity and cost to replace. Starting with these tasks will give you a head start on the insurance claim process.

Often times, insurance companies are too slow or incorrectly underpay and even deny tornado damage claims. It’s your right to have a fair and expeditious claim process. We can help.