Tornadoes & Insurance Claims in OklahomaPosted September 16, 2016
Anyone who lives in Oklahoma knows that tornadoes and severe weather damage are things we have to worry about here. In fact, just recently in May, several residents in the southern part of the state suffered serious property damage when severe storms, including tornadoes, moved through the area, ultimately leading to the death of two people. The Oklahoma Assessor’s Office has quoted over $300,000 damaged caused by one tornado in the state of Oklahoma, with a loss of over $700,000 in the market value of properties affected. And that’s just from one tornado.
Given this risk to both human life and property, it is important to ensure that you are protected when it comes to your insurance policies.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
When people purchase insurance, many ask questions about deductibles, but in general, most feel that, as long as they have it—whether that be homeowners insurance, life insurance, auto insurance, etc.—they will be just fine because they pay their premiums every month. However, it is important to remember that the bottom line for insurance companies is to turn a profit, and the more frequently they pay out claims like yours, the less of a profit they’ll make. It is crucial that the specifics are in writing, such as how much coverage you need, how much you have, and what your deductibles are.
Covered Vs. Uncovered
In the case of tornadoes, typically damage caused by wind, fallen objects and/or the collapse of any home structures is covered under homeowner’s insurance. However, that doesn’t always mean that everything that comes with tornadoes is automatically covered by insurance: for example, removal costs for trees that fall on your property (but not on your roof or the walls of your house) often aren’t covered, as well as water-related damage that occurs anywhere other than the roof and walls (for example damage to the plumbing or flooding of the floors).
Tornadoes often cause roofs to be ripped off, trees uprooted, and vehicles severely damaged. People also tend to lose power, which results in food spoilage and other issues (also not typically covered in homeowner’s insurance policies).
Tips to Stay Protected
There are specific steps you can take to ensure that you are out ahead of any property or other damage that could occur due to a tornado. First, know your insurance policy in and out. Pay special attention to the exclusions and what they entail. It is entirely possible, for example, that your insurance policy might cover any lost market value of your home as a result of the tornado. Either way, you should be familiar with the specifics.
This doesn’t just apply to homeowner’s insurance policies, but also auto insurance policies. Does your comprehensive coverage exclude damage to your vehicle due to a severe storm or tornado?
Contact an Experienced Attorney. We Can Help
An insurance company’s refusal to cover damage caused by a tornado can take a severe toll on you. If you’ve sustained property damage, contact one of our dedicated attorneys at the Bennett Law Firm at 405-272-0303 and we will help you schedule an initial consultation.