Do You Have Enough Homeowners Insurance If a Tornado Strikes?

tornado coverageTornadoes are among a host of hard-to-predict natural disasters that impact the planet. While technology has improved significantly over the past few decades, providing meteorologists with more effective ways to warn residents of impending danger, very often, residents only have a small window of time to seek shelter before a tornado arrives.

While it may be impossible to predict the onset of a tornado days in advance like a hurricane, there are other measures that can be taken to ensure you and your family are safe and financially protected. One option to ensure the latter is to purchase enough homeowners insurance to know that your property and personal belongings are protected by some form of tornado coverage.

Homeowners Insurance Is a Must During Tornado Season

When many people think of tornadoes, they are reminded of Dorothy running from the massive funnel spinning toward her and little Toto in Kansas. According to data pulled by the Insurance Information Institute, the movie was right on track by using the state as a focal point.

In 2012, Kansas was listed as the state experiencing the most tornadoes with 145 by the end of the year. Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky all followed with several dozen in each state.

What’s interesting is that the trend for 2013 is quite different. So far, Tennessee is the front-runner with 29 as of March 6, 2013, while Louisiana also has a high number with 16. This shows that tornadoes can crop up almost anywhere.

Among the many reasons homeowners insurance is a necessity throughout the year, the threat of a tornado is a major one. Tornado events cost $23.7 billion in economic losses in 2012, according to Munich Re.

A tornado can cause tremendous damage to a home and, in some cases, completely destroy a property. Do you have the homeowners insurance necessary to pay for repairs or rebuilding if a tornado hits your home?

Do You Have Enough Tornado Coverage?

One of the toughest challenges homeowners face is determining whether they have enough hurricane, fire, lightning, or tornado coverage. The good news is coverage for these natural disasters is usually rolled into a standard homeowners insurance policy.

While water-related damage is typically covered by flood insurance, which acts as a separate policy offered by private insurers through the government, damage to homes involving wind, hail, fires or lightning are usually covered by home insurance.

So then how do you know that you have enough coverage to pay for a damaged or destroyed home?

Many homeowners assume that purchasing a policy based on the home’s property value is good enough. But in actuality, you want to estimate the cost to rebuild your home based on demolition, removal of damaged property, rebuilding the property and even landscaping costs.

Experts estimate that these considerations could boost your coverage needs more than 30 percent higher than your current property value. So keep this in mind as you review your homeowners insurance policy and determine how much tornado coverage you need this year.

Image:  NOAA Photo Library