Tornado / Windstorm Coverage and FAQ’s

orleans ottawa tornado
Orleans tornado, taken from Trim and Watters in Orleans.
Photo Credit: Michael Dalrymple

With the Ottawa area having just experienced its second tornado event in the past 10 months, the obvious question on everyone’s mind is, “Will my homeowner insurance cover damage to my home, caused by a tornado event?”

Am I Covered?

Damage to homes caused by hail or wind is generally covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. This includes damage caused by flying debris or falling branches. This would also generally include damage to your home and its contents when water enters through openings as a result of the wind or hail damage.

In certain circumstances, homeowners who are unable to live in their homes because of the insurable damage are entitled to additional living expenses. This coverage would be found under a comprehensive homeowner’s policy and is meant to respond in this type of event.


Other Tornado / Windstorm FAQ’s:

All the siding in the front is gone, will the company replace all the siding on the house?

If covered for the loss, your insurance company is typically responsible to replace only the damaged section and will attempt to match the existing siding. If this cannot be done then it will be reviewed further by the Adjuster.


Tree removal? A Tree fell onto my house, is removal cost covered? What about all other tree and branch debris that is in my yard (did not fall on the structure) – is this covered? Is full disposal covered or only to the end of the homeowner’s lane?

Most insurance policies do not respond to trees that come down by wind including damaged trees in non-tornado situations. Each company may handle tree damage slightly differently, but when a tree falls onto your dwelling, fence or other structure, the insurance company will generally cover the cost to remove the tree from the structure and place it on the ground. Insurance companies generally do not remove the tree from the property or cut down any damaged tree(s) or cover the expense to have this work done. For specifics, we recommend you refer to your insurance policy.


The tornado / windstorm caused a power outage resulting in Food to spoil in a freezer? Is it covered?

Most insurance companies provide some type of coverage for spoilage from a power outage. We recommend you speak with your insurance broker to review the possibility of whether a specific limit applies. For example, some companies have a limit of $1000 while others have no limit. With some companies, the deductible will apply to food spoilage, and with others, it may not. You will want to discuss this with your Rhodes & Williams Insurance Broker to get the most up-to-date information. If you have had a major amount of food damage from your freezer outage, keep records of the food lost, document as much as you can and speak with your insurance broker for advice.