A standard homeowners policy covers damage from strong winds and tornadoes. Cars are covered if you carry optional comprehensive coverage on your policy. Approximately 1,200 tornadoes occur in the United State each year according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Tornadoes are now classified according to the Enhanced Fujita Scale with ratings ranging from EF-0 (light damage) to EF-5 (incredible damage). Each rating is based on the amount and type of wind damage caused by the twister. Ratings are assigned after the National Weather Service inspects the resulting damage.
- Windsor, Colorado experienced a tornado and hail storm in May 2008 causing an estimated $193.5 million in insured losses ($212.2 million in 2014 dollars).
- The June 1990 tornado that touched down in Limon, Colorado caused an estimated $20 million in insured losses ($36.1 million in 2014 dollars).
- A March 2007 tornado and hail storm resulted in an estimated $16.7 million in insured losses to Clovis, Logan and Roswell, New Mexico ($19.0 million in 2014 dollars).
A video of an EF-3 tornado was captured May 22, 2008, by a security camera on State Farm\'s Greeley, Colorado Operations Center.
Protecting Your Home from Wind Damage
Homeowners should consider strengthening their homes in order to protect them, their belongings and everyone inside. Coastal communities have been adopting stronger building codes calling for walls to be anchored to foundations and using straps to connect roofs to exterior walls. Both measures will help homes stand up against high winds, regardless of where the home is located.
Keep branches trimmed and yards clear of debris which can blow against your walls and windows, causing damage.
Having a current home inventory will help in the event that your home is severely damaged by a storm.
After the Storm
If high winds or a tornado damage your home, first get your family to a safe location. Contact your insurance company as soon as you are able. If it is safe to make temporary repairs, go ahead and do so to prevent more damage. Learn more about the claims process.
- Adjusting Your Claim
- What About My Mortgage?
- How Do I Select a Contractor and Who Pays?
- What About My Stuff?
- How Do I Get By While My Home is Repaired or Rebuilt?
- Rebuilding Options
- DORA: Don't Become a Victim of Roofing Scams
- RMIIA: Tornado and Insurance
- RMIIA: Insurance Claim Process