Advertisement
insurance

Protect Your Home and Finances Against Twisters

Tornado season is upon us. Make sure you are prepared.

If you live in a tornado-prone area, you know twister season is upon you. You probably know what to do to protect yourself if a tornado has been spotted in your area. But do you know how to protect your finances against disaster? Follow these tips:

Check your insurance coverage. If a tornado damages or destroys a home, standard homeowners policies usually cover the costs of living away from home while the house is being repaired or rebuilt, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Make sure your policy provides this coverage.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Standard homeowners policies cover wind damage caused by tornadoes, according to III, but make sure your coverage limits reflect the cost of rebuilding your home. Check the local cost of building a home like yours. The insurance company is concerned with replacement value, not the market value of your home. If your home is insured for less than what it would cost to rebuild, you'll foot the bill for the difference.

Contractors in your area should be able to provide you with some ballpark cost-per-square-foot estimates. But this generic calculation won't be of much use if have custom features such as marble mantels, hand-carved banisters and stained-glass windows that are more expensive to replace. For a more precise number, bring in an appraiser or check AccuCoverage.com, which can calculate how much it would cost to rebuild your house.

For more information, see Get the Right Protection for Your Home and Six Steps to Protect Your Home.

Build an emergency fund. Set aside several thousand dollars in a money-market or savings account to cover potential out-of-pocket costs. Many common storm-related expenses -- such as removing fallen trees, which can cost thousands of dollars -- generally aren't covered unless the tree lands on your house. For more information, see Your Essential Emergency Kit.

Take inventory. You need to know what you have in your home -- and the replacement value of those items -- so you can file an insurance claim. Take photos of possessions or videotape your home room by room. Store the proof on a CD or flash drive and put it in a safe place. To find out how insurers handle storm-damage claims, see Protection After the Storm.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

What Trump's Payroll Tax Cut Will Mean for You
Tax Breaks

What Trump's Payroll Tax Cut Will Mean for You

President Trump has issued an executive order to defer the collection of payroll taxes. How much will it save you?
August 9, 2020
What a Payroll Tax Cut Would Mean for You
Tax Breaks

What a Payroll Tax Cut Would Mean for You

If Congress can't pass another stimulus bill, President Trump says he will initiate a payroll tax cut by executive order. How much would that save you…
August 8, 2020
7 Surprisingly Valuable Assets for a Happy Retirement
happy retirement

7 Surprisingly Valuable Assets for a Happy Retirement

If you want a long and fulfilling retirement, you need more than money. Here are the most valuable retirement assets to have (besides money), and how …
August 3, 2020

Recommended

The Insurance Company Denied My Claim. What Should I Do?
insurance

The Insurance Company Denied My Claim. What Should I Do?

A lawyer specializing in insurance bad faith law explains why this happens, and outlines how to fight back.
August 6, 2020
Time for an Insurance Review
Coronavirus and Your Money

Time for an Insurance Review

You may need to update your policies in light of COVID-19.
July 30, 2020
Insurance Question: Say Rioters Destroy My Business, Am I Covered?
insurance

Insurance Question: Say Rioters Destroy My Business, Am I Covered?

If you ask your broker, the answer may be no. But don’t just accept that response. Know what your policy covers, and how to protect yourself.
July 29, 2020
Applying for Disability Benefits During a Global Pandemic
insurance

Applying for Disability Benefits During a Global Pandemic

It can take months or even years to get approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits in the best of times. Needless to say, now i…
June 24, 2020