On Tuesday, April 3, multiple tornadoes touched down in northern Texas. They caused extensive damage and destroyed almost 200 homes and damaged 650 more. Tornadoes and windstorm are dangerous and if you happen to experience one, the last thing you want to be thinking about is your insurance.
When dangerous winds hit Calgary on November 27, 2011 residents were sent scrambling. According to the Calgary Herald, wind speeds reached 149 km/h and caused city officials to close the downtown area for fear of glass and debris falling off of high-rise buildings.
In Ontario last summer, tornadoes caused millions of damages to property in Goderich by destroying homes and businesses. Although we can’t prevent tornadoes or windstorms, we can make sure our homes and belongings are properly insured. Learn what you should look for in your home policy to make sure you’re covered.
Protection for homeowners
In most cases, homeowner and business insurance policies cover wind damage. This includes damage to the structure of the building, damaged contents such as broken windows and clearing out debris. Keep in mind that your coverage limits should cover the cost of rebuilding the structure, the replacement of your belongings and cleaning costs.
Here’s what to look for in your home insurance policy:
Additional Living Expense (ALE) coverage –
this helps pay for your living expenses if you cannot stay in your home due to damage from an insured loss. Hotel bills, food and dining costs and other living expenses will be reimbursed for the time you are away from home while it is being repaired.
Guaranteed Replacement Cost (GRC) or Additional Rebuilding Cost (ARC) –
this provides you with coverage over your standard policy limits. Here’s an example of when GRC or ARC comes in handy. Imagine your home is insured for $350,000 and a tornado comes through and destroys your home along with others. When it comes time to rebuild, building costs and inflation have caused the replacement cost of your home to increase to $400,000. GRC or ARC would cover this additional amount, depending on the terms and conditions in your specific policy.
Protection for vehicles
Here’s what to look for in your auto insurance policy:
Comprehensive optional coverage –
this optional coverage will cover cars, trucks and motorcycles if they are damaged by wind or flying debris. If you only have liability coverage, repairs or replacement of your vehicle as a result of the high winds or flying debris would not be covered.
Comprehensive coverage can also be purchased for your motor home, trailer or all-terrain vehicle (ATVs). Marine insurance policies protect boats and usually include coverage for wind damage. Talk to your insurance advisor to make sure all your vehicles are protected.
Protection for businesses
Here’s what to look for in your business or commercial insurance policy:
Business interruption coverage –
if wind damage forces you to close the doors on your business during rebuilding or repairs, this coverage makes sure you can still make any necessary payments. There are many forms of business interruption coverage. Check with your commercial insurance broker to make sure you have the best coverage for your business.
These tips are designed to help you better understand your policies. It’s better to check your coverage before the wild wind starts blowing. The best way to make sure you and your property are protected is to call your insurance advisor. They can assess your needs and can provide you with the right amount of coverage for your situation.