Wednesday, January 11, 2023

What your homeowners insurance policy does not cover when it comes to tornado damage

A family in Decatur was left picking up the pieces of their home after an EF-2 tornado tore through their single-story house, tearing the roof off and throwing pieces of their lives across the front yard. The strong winds lifted a 500-gallon plastic water tank and dropped it crashing into a back wall. An iron smoker lay on a ditch in front of the house. A child’s bicycle lay on its side next to a cabinet on the muddy driveway.

It was fortuitous that the twister did not hit more homes in the neighborhood. But many in North Texas must wonder how that family can pick up the pieces.

Most homeowners insurance policies do cover damage from tornadoes. What those policies do not cover is damage from flooding caused by a tornado.

“Your home insurance policy covers many natural disasters and weather events, including wind, hail, lightning strikes and wildfires. However, it does not cover damage caused by floods or earthquakes,” according to the Farmers Insurance website

The insurance company recommends buying additional flooding insurance if your home is on a flood-prone area. To have full coverage from natural disasters, homeowners need three types of insurance: home, flood and earthquake.

According to insurance marketplace website, Policygenius, the average cost of homeowners insurance in Texas is $257 a month or $3,080 a year. In Texas, homeowners can also turn to FAIR Plan insurance policies if you are unable to acquire insurance for your home. It is generally more expensive but will give you the coverage you need.

What does your homeowners insurance policy cover?

These are the main factors to remember about a homeowners insurance policy, according to Policygenius. The top takeaways are that flooding damage is not covered and living in tornado-prone areas may complicate your ability to purchase insurance.

Damage from flooding is never covered under standard home insurance. A standard homeowners insurance policy covers tornado damage. Tornado damage doesn’t come with its own deductible, though windstorm damage does in certain states.

If you live in “Tornado Alley,” you might have to purchase a separate wind and hail insurance policy. Starting from West Texas, through the northeast of the state into Oklahoma is considered part of this tornado-prone region.


This article is written by David Montesino from Fort Worth Star-Telegram and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to