High wind and hail from a tornado can damage your roof, siding and personal belongings. Your property insurance policy typically covers the cost to repair damage caused by a tornado. However, you may have a higher deductible for wind and hail damage on your primary property policy than you do for other types of claims. Check your policy to see what’s covered and the deductible you’ve chosen. Your local Safeco agent can go over your policy details with you.
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Severe thunderstorms, lightning and hail can accompany a tornado. High winds can down electric lines, telephone poles and trees. Buildings damaged by a tornado may be unstable and can potentially collapse. If a tornado touched down in your neighborhood and caused damage to your home or your car, follow these tips:
Make Personal Safety Your First Priority
Check for Damage
Drive with Extreme Caution
When it’s safe to do so, call us as soon as you can.
Be ready to provide the following:
Be prepared to provide as much detail as possible about the damage. If possible take photographs and videos of damage caused by the tornado. They can help expedite the claims process. Owner’s manuals, serial numbers and credit card statements are useful to document personal belongings that may have been damaged or lost.
We will do our best to contact you within 72 hours after you file your claim to discuss what happens next. If you experienced serious tornado damage, we will make every effort to get to you first.
Safeguard Your Home and Your Car
Heavy rain is often a part of tornadoes and windstorms. The longer your home is exposed to water, the more damage you’ll see to your roof, ceiling, walls and floors, as well as any personal belongings you have inside. It’s important to take some steps to protect yourself and your property from any further damage after a tornado.
Tornado Damage to Your House
Tornado Damage to Your Car
Get Your House Repaired
Please wait until a claims adjustor assesses the tornado damage to your home before starting permanent repairs. We encourage you, however, to schedule permanent repairs as soon as possible. Find a local, licensed, bonded and insured contractor through our free Safeco Contractor Referral service.
Get Your Car Fixed
If your car has been damaged by a tornado, see Car Repairs and Damage Estimates for more information on how to get it fixed.
While Your Home is Being Repaired or Rebuilt
If you are unable to live in your home while the damage is assessed and your home is being repaired or rebuilt, Safeco will pay for additional living expenses, typically for up to 24 months. If repairs take longer than the period of time covered in your policy, you may be eligible for additional assistance from federal emergency programs.
To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade
Safeco will replace damaged items and materials with the same type and quality of materials you had before the tornado. For example, if you had a fiberglass roof, we will pay to repair or replace the damaged area with fiberglass, but we won’t pay to replace it with more expensive slate tile. If you decide to upgrade you house with better or more expensive materials, you’re welcome to do so, but you’ll need to pay the additional expense out of your own pocket.
Any time you make improvements to your property, be sure to talk to your local Safeco agent to find out if your coverage is still enough, and if you’re eligible for any discounts.
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