Each year, approximately 1,000 tornadoes with wind speeds as high as 300 miles per hour touch down in the United States. While the majority of these tornadoes occur in the area known as Tornado Alley (spanning south-central states in the U.S.), they can — and do — touch down all over the country.
Just weeks ago, residents and employees in the Hudson Valley Region of New York State were issued through our cell phones and televisions a tornado watch. The National Weather Service later confirmed that a tornado had indeed touched down in Montgomery of Orange County, NY, during heavy storms on Thursday, August 27.
What is the difference between a tornado “watch” and a tornado “warning?” Watches are issued by the Storm Prediction Center for counties where tornadoes may occur. The watch area is typically large, covering numerous counties or sometimes even states. Tornado warnings indiciate that a tornado has actually been sighted or officially confirmed by a weather radar. In other words, TAKE ACTION!
Does your homeowners insurance cover damage as a result of a tornado?
Standard homeowners insurance policies cover damage caused by tornadoes. Unlike floods or hurricanes, tornadoes don’t require a separate endorsement or rider. Homeowners insurance policies also provide coverage for additional living expenses policyholders will need to finance temporary housing costs and other daily necessities.
Because of the potential for extensive damage, homeowners are strongly advised to review their policies to ensure coverage is sufficient if a tornado touches down. We also recommend creating a home inventory and updating it annually. A current, up-to-date home inventory of the items in your home will help you justify the valuables you claim and ensure you don’t forget anything so that you are properly and fully reimbursed.
Also, buying insurance coverage equal to the replacement value of your home is crucial. In the event of total loss, you will be provided with reimbursement for what it would cost to purchase new what was lost or damaged, rather than receiving compensation for the items at their depreciated value. Replacement value differs from the market value of your home, which is the amount for which your home was appraised or the amount you would sell your home. Learn more about insurable replacement cost here.
Does your auto insurance coverage tornado damage to your vehicle?
Damage to vehicles is covered under the comprehensive section of standard auto insurance policies, which is optional. Simply carrying general liability insurance won’t provide you with reimbursement for potentially extensive repairs following a tornado strike. Comprehensive insurance helps to cover damage that is not caused by a car accident.
Is your business covered in the event of a tornado?
Under most circumstances, commercial property insurance will cover the damage caused by a tornado, while comprehensive commercial auto insurance will cover vehicle damage.
What should you do if a tornado approaches?
While securing your personal belongings and valuables is important, protecting yourself and your loved ones should always be your top priority when a tornado watch or warning is in effect. Your family should have a plan in place so that you can quickly find shelter, particularly if you live in a vulnerable structure like a mobile home. You should also pre-designate a place to meet up after the storm if you are separated.
Basements and storm cellars are the safest places to wait out a tornado. If shelter below ground is not available, go to the lowest floor possible and seek protection in a bathroom, closet, or other interior room far from windows and as close to the center of the house as possible.
If you see a tornado watch or warning while in your car, don’t try to out-drive it. Instead, exit your vehicle and, if possible, find a sturdy building in which to take shelter. If no structures are nearby, lie down in a low, flat area, such as a ditch, and cover your head until the tornado passes. Do no go underneath a bridge or overpass, because this is extremely dangerous.
Source: Trusted Choice
For more information, please give your trusted, neighborhood independent insurance agency a call at 845-986-1177. We are your business, home, auto, and life insurance solutions provider, partner, and adviser, serving Warwick, Greenwood Lake, Florida, Goshen, Pine Island, Middletown, Chester, Monroe, Newburgh, Orange County, and the Hudson Valley and Tri-State Area.