Is My Home Covered in Case of a Tornado?

March 4, 2020

Yesterday morning’s news of a tornado ripping through Nashville and Hermitage was terrifying.  10 or more buildings collapsed in downtown Nashville, homes were ripped apart for miles around the area, and unfortunately, as I write this, 22 fatalities have been reported, and they’re still digging through the rubble.  That left me mulling whether my homeowner’s insurance covers tornado damage.

I started my research online.  I’ve lived in Kentucky and Tennessee the majority of my life.  While I can remember several tornadoes in my lifetime, I’ve never considered either state to be particularly tornado prone.  However, when I started perusing online about this subject, I was surprised to learn Tennessee ranks 5th in the nation for tornado damage and insurance claims.  I realized then that I might need to be looking into my insurance coverage a little more seriously.

I called and spoke with my own insurance agent and found out that indeed, I am covered.   There are a few other questions that need to be asked though.   First, does my coverage reimburse for the actual cash value of our home and contents or for the replacement value?  The difference there is are they reimbursing for me for what it costs to replace those items new or what they are worth now after depreciation and use.  In most cases, many homeowners are under-covered.  We all want the “best deal.”   Sometimes, we interpret the best deal as what’s cheapest, and, in some cases, that may mean you have less coverage, not the best price.

What else?  I started thinking what else am I not thinking of.  These are a few of the questions I’ve put together to call back and discuss with my insurance agent.  I suggest we all look into these.

  • Would my car be covered if it was destroyed or damaged during a tornado?
  • How about if my home floods during a tornado? Flooding can be a whole other ball game.
  • Does insurance only cover the structure (home) or the contents also?
  • How would I prove what I had in the home? Make a video or take pictures of the contents and store it somewhere in a personal safe or lockbox at your bank, for example.

Any time a natural disaster or something unexpected occurs, it gives me some time to think about if I would be prepared if the same happened to me.  In light of what has happened in Tennessee, just a couple hours away from us, we could all learn from this sad event and inquire a little more to look out for ourselves and our loved ones.