Tornadoes and Home Insurance

Home Tool Kit

Cover Yourself from the Unstoppable

Most of us have seen the awe-inspiring fury of tornadoes on TV, in the news, or in Hollywood blockbusters. Unless you’ve been through one though, dug through broken property, seen neighbors left with nothing…it’s hard to understand their true devastating power.

Like earthquakes, tornadoes are life changing natural events that are just as catastrophic as they are hard to predict.

The good news is, the more prepared you are, the safer you’ll be, and the sooner you’ll be on the road to recovery after a tornado hits. Here are some smart steps you can take:
 

1. Create a home inventory list now
 

When the tornado warnings go off, taking shelter is top priority. On the other hand, taking inventory of your belongings is probably the last thing on anyone’s mind.

That’s why it’s vital to create a home inventory ahead of time. Having a detailed list ready to hand off to a claims adjuster after a natural disaster can make the process so much easier (and is one way to ensure you’ll get adequately reimbursed!).

Creating a home inventory doesn’t have to be complicated. Do a room by room walkthrough, and create an itemized list of what you have. Don’t forget to include copies of receipts, if you have them.

You can even supplement your list with pictures and video recordings to create a catalog of what you have.

Keeping your inventory out of harm’s way is equally important! Back up your photos and videos to the cloud, or keep your records secure in a safety deposit box.


2. Find out if your belongings are fully-covered
 

At Farmers, we know that losing your meaningful possessions can be heartbreaking.

Unfortunately, while we can’t salvage your priceless family photos, our home insurance plans can help you replace your other possessions in case a tornado hits.

That’s because our home policies cover more than just damage to your home – they also cover the cost of belongings lost or damaged in a storm.

Keep in mind:

  • Your possessions are covered up to a certain amount. For expensive or unique items like electronics, jewelry, or fine art, it’s probably a good idea to talk to your Farmers agent about increasing the limits in your policy.

  • Consider Contents Replacement Cost coverage, which compensates you for a lost or damaged item based on its replacement cost value (With a typical homeowners policy, you would be reimbursed based on your items’ depreciated value.)



3. Be proactive
 

Once the storm has passed and you’ve checked in with friends and family, there are proactive steps you can take to recover your losses and start the rebuilding process:
 

  1. Contact your insurance agent right away to report any property damage. You can also count on Farmers for best in class disaster recovery. With our advanced Mobile Claims Centers, we’re typically first on the scene after a disaster, ready with claims adjusters, support, and supplies for survivors.

  2. Make small, emergency repairs (only if it’s safe to do so!) to prevent further damage – even if your insurance agent hasn’t seen it yet. This could include boarding up windows, putting a tarp on the roof, and salvaging undamaged items.

    >> Is your home ready for severe summer weather? Try these tips to protect your property.

  3. Take photos or video of the damage to provide further documentation to support your claim. If possible, keep damaged items until the claim adjuster has visited your home.

  4. Shut off utilities. Turn electricity off if the house has been flooded. Report downed power lines or gas leaks to the utility company.

  5. Ask your agent about additional living expenses. You don’t have to pay out of pocket to live somewhere else while your home is being repaired or rebuilt. . Most home insurance includes coverage for additional living expenses, or loss of use, which pays for extra costs to live while your house is uninhabitable. Those expenses can include rent, hotel stays, restaurant meals, storage fees and more.


Let’s face it: there’s no surefire strategy for surviving a twister. Your best option it to plan ahead so you’ll get back on your feet quickly after disaster strikes.


Putting an emergency response plan in place can also make a big difference. In addition, talk to your Farmers agent to make sure you’re financially protected when natural calamities occur.


The information contained in this page is provided for general informational purposes only. The information is provided by Farmers and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to this article or the information, products, services or related graphics, if any, contained in this article for any purpose. The information is not meant as professional or expert advice, and any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.