Tornado Insurance

May 2, 2011 No Comments »


“Tornado insurance” has become a hot topic with the arrival of violent springtime weather in the United States.

It comes as no surprise, as State Farm reported more than 10,000 insurance claims related to the storms that spanned across Texas to North Carolina in recent weeks.

And like most insurance coverage, consumers may not be too knowledgeable (or even care) about coverage until they’ve suffered some sort of property damage.

The good news (maybe) is that we can all relax when it comes to the topic of tornado insurance coverage.

Odds are you’re covered if you purchased a property insurance policy (homeowners insurance or dwelling fire).

In the insurance world, tornadoes and the subsequent property damage they cause are referred to as windstorms or wind events. Windstorm coverage is included on most “named perils” and certainly on “all risks” property coverage forms.

(Named perils vs all risk homeowners policies)

Beware Windstorm Exclusions

But insurance companies are sometimes reluctant to sell windstorm or wind event coverage (or hail for that matter) in certain areas of the country. That’s right Gulf Coast, we’re talking to you.

Insurers may offer coverage that specifically excludes coverage against this peril. Are you completely out of luck? NOPE. You would simply have to purchase coverage from an insurer who offers it.

(Why is a wind deductible higher than a regular deductible?)

The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) is one such company. They are basically an insurer “pool” in the state of Texas. This means funds are collected from EVERY insurer licensed to operate (and make money) in the state.

Part of the “deal” of being allowed to write insurance in the state is that you have to contribute a certain percentage of your company’s profits to pay for insurance claims resulting in areas where individuals cannot find coverage through the “standard” market.

TWAI is an insurer “of last resort,” which means they HAVE to write your policy.

Contact a local independent insurance agent if you are concerned about your current coverage.

An agent will be able to verify what tornado coverage you do (and don’t) have and assist you in getting the coverage you need to protect your hard earned property.

Tip: Why insurance won’t cover some roof claims.

(photo: LakeMartinVoice)

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