Tornado Things to Know When Filing Your Claim

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Tornado Claims

Florida is prone to chaotic and violent weather patterns, and sudden tornadoes and violent windstorms are not uncommon, especially in the summer. If you've suffered damage, before you make your claim, its important for you to know what is covered and what's not.

  • Tornadoes associated with a named storm are subject to your hurricane deductible
  • Most damage to your yard may not be covered
  • Structural damage to your home may not be apparent

  • Tornadoes vs Hurricanes

    While Florida's violent summer squalls can produce tornadoes, a significant number of Florida's tornadoes are spawned by named storms - hurricanes, tropical storms, and tropical depressions. For property owners, the problems with hurricane-spawned tornadoes is the higher hurricane deductible applies, even if you're hundreds of miles away from the center of the storm. However; if the tornado or windstorm that damages you property is not related to a named storm, your normal deductible will apply.

    The Trouble With Trees

    Fallen trees cause the most damage in a windstorm. But you'll find that trees themselves are not covered in your policy, unless one causes damage to your home. Most policies put the replacement value of a tree at $500 if the tree causes damage to your home, and most policies will only cover the cost of removing a tree if the tree is interfering with the damage repair, and even then, they'll only pay for the portion of the tree that is in the way; you're responsible for the rest. If the tree falls but does not damage your home, you'll likely be responsible for the entire removal costs.

    Your Neighbors' Trees:

    If a neighbor's tree damages your house, your claim will be with your insurance company. Likewise, if one of your trees falls on a neighbor's house, their claim will be with their insurance company.

    Invisible Damage

    Just because you can't see the damage doesn't mean it's not there. Outwardly, a home that has had a brush with a tornado may look fine, but structurally, it may be a different story. The complicated fluid dynamics that accompany a violent windstorm can put huge stresses on your roof, trusses, and walls - even your windows and doors - thereby compromising the structural integrity of your entire home.

    If you've had a close encounter with a tornado, before you decide not to file a claim, schedule a consultation with a licensed professional structural engineer who is familiar with assessing wind damage to see if there is any hidden damage.

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